Rethinking Intervention Strategies in Stroke Family Caregiving


  • Barbara J. Lutz PhD RN CRRN FAHA,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Barbara J. Lutz, PhD RN CRRN FAHA, is an associate professor at University of Florida, College of Nursing, Gainesville, FL.

  • Mary Ellen Young PhD

    Associate ProfessorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Mary Ellen Young, PhD CRC, is a clinical associate professor at University of Florida, College of Public Health and Health Professions, Gainesville, FL. Authors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. This article does not discuss off-label use.


Stroke is a condition that affects both patients and family members who provide care and support. Because stroke is an unexpected traumatic event that suddenly forces family members into a caregiving role, caregivers often experience an overwhelming sense of burden, depression, and isolation; a decline in physical and mental health; and reduced quality of life. Caregiver health is inextricably linked to a stroke survivor's physical, cognitive, and psychological recovery. Evidence suggests that informational interventions alone are not as effective in meeting the complex needs of stroke caregivers as interventions that combine information with other support services. This article discusses issues related to stroke caregiving and proposes comprehensive strategies designed to meet the poststroke recovery needs of both patients and caregivers. Suggested strategies include a comprehensive assessment specific to caregiver needs, skills, and resources and case management services designed to provide continuity of care across the stroke-recovery trajectory.