Caregiver Perspectives of Memory and Behavior Changes in Stroke Survivors

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1520 Clifton Road, Room 306, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, or to pclark@gsu.edu

Abstract

Post-stroke memory and behavior changes (MBC) a re associated with negative outcomes for stroke survivors and caregivers. This article describes the types of MBC that occur most frequently and caregivers' responses to these behaviors. Data were obtained through in-person interviews and administration of questionnaires to 132 caregivers of first-time stroke survivors 3–9 months after stroke. MBC were measured with a modified version of a Memory and Behavior Problems checklist. On average, caregivers reported 7.7 ± 3.6 (range 0–17) behaviors. Common stroke survivor MBC included appearing sad or depressed, interrupting the caregiver, and being restless or agitated. These MBC were distressing to caregivers. Caregivers may not recognize some MBC as potential symptoms of depression. In addition, caregiver misunderstanding of the amount of control survivors may have over some behaviors has implications for rehabilitation and caregivers' responses to these changes.

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