Internet-based Support for Rural Caregivers of Persons with Stroke Shows Promise


Linda Pierce, Medical College of Ohio School of Nursing, 3015 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614, or e-mail


The purpose of this pilot study was to test the feasibility of providing Internet-based education and support intervention to caregivers living in rural settings, including caregivers' satisfaction with the intervention. A secondary aim was to explore their experience of caring. Nine adult caregivers of persons with stroke were enrolled in this descriptive study from rehabilitation centers in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan. They were given access to the intervention, Caring∼Webe©, for three months. Data were collected from participants' bimonthly interviews, as well as e-mail communications. Procedures were tested and found valid, and caregivers were willing and able to use Caring∼Web. Using Friedemann's framework of systemic organization, a coding system was developed for analyzing the qualitative data on the experience of caring. Five main themes emerged from these data. These findings help expand knowledge about caregivers dealing with stroke.