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Short-term effects of a group support program and an individual support program for caregivers of stroke patients

Short-term effects of a group support program and an individual support program for caregivers of stroke patients

Patient Education and Counseling 40(2): 109-120

Caregivers of stroke patients who live at home experience many problems. There is evidence from the literature that caregivers' situations can be improved by teaching them active coping strategies and by offering them information about the disease. This study investigated the short-term effects of two different interventions both with the same contents, and both aimed at enhancing caregivers' confidence in knowledge, active coping strategies, mental well-being, vitality, social support, assertiveness, and at reducing strain. In addition, we investigated which type of support, i.e. a group program or home visits, had the most positive effects. Caregivers of stroke patients from four regions of the Netherlands were assigned in blocks to a control group or one of the intervention programs. To the group program 130 caregivers were assigned, to the home visits 78 caregivers, and to the control group 49 caregivers. Caregivers were interviewed before entering the program and after completion of the program. Multiple stepwise regression analysis was used to determine the effects of the interventions. In the short-term, both interventions (group program and home visits together) contributed significantly to an increase in confidence in knowledge about patient care, and the use of the active coping strategies 'confronting' and 'seeking social support'. The group program achieved a small increase in seeking social support. When only taking into account those caregivers that followed a substantial part of the program (per protocol group) also a medium effect was found from both interventions on perceived self efficacy. When comparing the group program and the home visits, no significant differences in effects were found. The results of the program are considered encouraging. We recommend implementation of more intervention programs that focus on coping and providing information.

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Accession: 047360362

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 10771365

DOI: 10.1016/s0738-3991(99)00066-x

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