Intervention studies for caregivers of stroke survivors: a critical review

Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Mar;56(3):257-67. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.02.013.


The objective of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of different types of intervention programs for caregivers of stroke patients. A systematic search using Medline, PsychINFO, AMED and CINAHL till March 2003 was carried out and 22 studies were identified. Four types of support programs could be studied: providing specialist services, (psycho)education, counselling and social support by peers. Many different outcome domains and a variety of measures were used. Ten studies reported positive results on one or more outcome domains: reduction of depression (two studies) and burden (one), improvement of knowledge on stroke (five), satisfaction with care (one), family functioning (one), quality of life (three), problem solving skills (two), social activities (two), and social support (one). Three studies reported a negative result on caregiver outcome. We could not identify sufficient evidence to confirm the efficacy of interventions but counselling programs (3 out of 4) appear to have the most positive outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Attitude to Health
  • Caregivers* / education
  • Caregivers* / psychology
  • Cost of Illness
  • Counseling / organization & administration
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Family* / psychology
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Problem Solving
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality of Life
  • Research Design
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Support*
  • Stroke* / nursing
  • Stroke* / psychology
  • Survivors* / psychology