Effect of a stroke-specific follow-up care model on the quality of life of stroke patients and caregivers: A controlled trial
Manon Fens, Caroline M. van Heugten, George Beusmans, Job Metsemakers, Arnold Kester, Martien Limburg
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a stroke-specific follow-up care model on quality of life for stroke patients, being discharged home, and their caregivers.
Design: A non-randomized, controlled trial, comparing an intervention group with a control group (usual care).
Subjects: Stroke patients and their caregivers.
Methods: Intervention involved 5 home visits by a stroke care coordinator over a period of 18 months, using a structured assessment tool. Outcome measures were conducted at baseline (T0) and every 6 months thereafter (T6, T12 and T18) in the domains of quality of life (primary), activities of daily living, social activities, depression, anxiety and caregiver strain.
Results: The intervention group (n = 62) had significantly increased its social activities after 18 months, whereas the control group (n = 55) showed significantly decreased levels of social activities. In the first 6 months, levels of depression decreased significantly in caregivers of the intervention group. No differences were found for quality of life and the other outcome measures.
Conclusion: The intervention was not effective in improving quality of life, but was effective in improving levels of social activities. The intervention may have focussed too much on screening for stroke-related problems and not as much on adequate follow-up care and referral.
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