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Multimodal rehabilitation in the late phase after stroke enhances the life situation of informal caregivers

Journal article
Authors Lina Bunketorp Käll
Åsa Lundgren Nilsson
Michael Nilsson
Christian Blomstrand
Published in Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Volume 25
Issue 3
Pages 161-167
ISSN 1074-9357
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Pages 161-167
Language en
Keywords Informal caregivers, late-phase stroke, multimodal rehabilitation, quality-of-life, depressive symptoms, family caregivers, partners, stroke, global burden, follow-up, 1st year, survivors, spouses, care
Subject categories Neurosciences


Purpose: The burden of caregiving for stroke survivors is well known, but the effect of late stroke rehabilitation on the life situation of informal caregivers is unknown. Here, we assessed changes in the life situation of informal caregivers of stroke survivors enrolled in a multimodal intervention trial. Methods: This controlled study was a questionnaire-based survey accompanying a three-armed randomized controlled trial of 123 stroke survivors. The care recipients of 106 caregivers who chose to participate were assigned to rhythm-and-music-based therapy (R-MT; n = 37), horse-riding therapy (H-RT; n = 37), or delayed intervention (control group, n = 32). Perceived changes in the life situation of the caregivers were evaluated with the Life Situation among Spouses after the Stroke Event (LISS) questionnaire before randomization, after the 12-week intervention, and 3 and 6 months later. Results: After the intervention, the change in the median LISS score was significantly higher among intervention caregivers (1.5 [interquartile range (IQR) 8.8]) than controls (1.5 [IQR 8.8] vs. 0.0 [IQR 12.0], p = 0.036). The improvement was maintained at 3 months (1.5 [IQR 9.0] vs. 0.0 [IQR 10.5], p = 0.039) but not at 6 months (p = 0.284). Conclusion: Engaging stroke survivors in multimodal interventions late after stroke appears to have potential to produce gains also in the general life situation of informal caregivers.

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