Randomized clinical trial of the timing it right stroke family support program: Research protocol

Cameron, Jill I., Naglie, Gary, Gignac, Monique A.M., Bayley, Mark, Warner, Grace, Green, Theresa, Czerwonka, Anna, Huijbregts, Maria, Silver, Frank L., Phillips, Steve J., & Cheung, Angela M. (2014) Randomized clinical trial of the timing it right stroke family support program: Research protocol. BMC Health Services Research, 14(18).

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Abstract

Background

Family caregivers provide invaluable support to stroke survivors during their recovery, rehabilitation, and community re-integration. Unfortunately, it is not standard clinical practice to prepare and support caregivers in this role and, as a result, many experience stress and poor health that can compromise stroke survivor recovery and threaten the sustainability of keeping the stroke survivor at home. We developed the Timing it Right Stroke Family Support Program (TIRSFSP) to guide the timing of delivering specific types of education and support to meet caregivers' evolving needs. The objective of this multi-site randomized controlled trial is to determine if delivering the TIRSFSP across the stroke care continuum improves caregivers' sense of being supported and emotional well-being.

Methods/design

Our multi-site single-blinded randomized controlled trial will recruit 300 family caregivers of stroke survivors from urban and rural acute care hospitals. After completing a baseline assessment, participants will be randomly allocated to one of three groups:

1) TIRSFSP guided by a stroke support person (health care professional with stroke care experience), delivered in-person during acute care and by telephone for approximately the first six to 12 months post-stroke;

2) caregiver self-directed TIRSFSP with an initial introduction to the program by a stroke support person, or;

3) standard care receiving the educational resource "Let's Talk about Stroke" prepared by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Participants will complete three follow-up quantitative assessments 3, 6, and 12-months post-stroke. These include assessments of depression, social support, psychological well-being, stroke knowledge, mastery (sense of control over life), caregiving assistance provided, caregiving impact on everyday life, and indicators of stroke severity and disability. Qualitative methods will also be used to obtain information about caregivers' experiences with the education and support received and the impact on caregivers' perception of being supported and emotional well-being.

Discussion

This research will determine if the TIRSFSP benefits family caregivers by improving their perception of being supported and emotional well-being. If proven effective, it could be recommended as a model of stroke family education and support that meets the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Guideline recommendation for providing timely education and support to families through transitions.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 85046
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Caregiver, Stroke, Social support, Randomized controlled trial, Mixed methods, Longitudinal, Education
DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-14-18
ISSN: 1472-6963
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Cameron et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2015 22:47
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2015 01:01

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