UBC Graduate Research

Caregiver support during the acute, post-stroke period Nobrega, Silvia


Suffering a significant stroke can result in the individual becoming significantly dependent on family members for care and support, and this dependency can have a considerable impact on the caregivers’ own health and wellbeing. The purpose of this report is to specifically assess caregiver needs during the acute post-stroke period and to hypothesize potential recommendations for practice. A literature review was conducted to explore the experience for the caregiver during this time and to identify specific strategies. Analysis of the literature resulted in three general themes: the role of education, having a specific stroke support contact, and screening caregivers for risk. A small survey study of seven participants was then conducted with caregivers on a stroke cohort unit and focused specifically on identifying what support caregivers require during the immediate, post-stroke time. Survey respondents were asked to rate various aspects of care and support and the three aspects that were deemed most significant were education, regular medical updates and the role of a specific stroke support contact. Specific strategies related to each of these areas are discussed. Integrating literature findings with caregivers’ survey responses provides insight into caregivers’ experiences, which may in turn guide new approaches and strategies that will improve care and support for caregivers on the stroke cohort unit. While this project provides much insight and proposes recommendations, further research is needed to define each area and to ensure changes and improvements are evidence-based.

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