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Keywords:

  • caregivers;
  • function;
  • problem solving;
  • stroke

Caregivers (CGs) of stroke survivors assume their role suddenly and with little preparation. Negative emotions are common, persist over time, and are related to other negative outcomes. This pilot study, guided by a coping model, examined the efficacy and durability of a caregiver problem-solving intervention (CPSI) on CG and stroke survivor outcomes. Additional aims included assessment of feasibility issues and reliability and sensitivity of the study measures. The nonrandom sample of 15 stroke CGs was matched on depression and demographics with a comparison group. The CPSI started during acute rehabilitation and continued through 2 months after discharge. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used to assess achievement of the aims. CG depression, anxiety, preparedness, and survivor motor function improved significantly in the intervention group over time. Burden, life changes, and taking care of CG's own needs did not change significantly. CPSI group CG depression significantly improved compared with the matched group. The improvement in outcomes for the CPSI group supports further testing of the intervention with a large sample.