Patterns of relationships between background characteristics, coping, and stroke caregiver outcomes.

Research paper by Rosemarie B RB King, Robert J RJ Hartke, Timothy T TT Houle

Indexed on: 10 Sep '10Published on: 10 Sep '10Published in: Topics in stroke rehabilitation


Little is known about mediators of stroke caregiver outcomes or patterns of relationships of outcome predictors. We examined relationships between the variable sets of caregiver and stroke survivor characteristics, coping (proposed mediators), and caregiver outcomes.We assessed 253 dyads prior to discharge from acute rehabilitation. Outcomes were depression, anxiety, preparedness, life change, and family functioning. Coping included problem solving, caregiver appraisal, and unmet resource needs. Multivariate canonical correlation analyses were computed between the sets of variables to identify unique patterns of relationships.Six patterns of significant relationships were found (R =.30 to .84, Ps <.01 to .02). The strongest relationship was that between greater threat appraisal and negative life change, greater anxiety, and lower caregiving preparedness (P < .01). Caregiver characteristics (nonwhite, spousal caregivers) were related significantly to several outcomes (positive life change, lower anxiety, and less healthy family functioning) (R = .43, P <.01) and remained significant after controlling for the effect of mediators (R = .32, P < .02).Findings suggest various patterns of relationships that provide guidance for individualizing early caregiver intervention. Clinicians can build on caregivers' strengths while identifying threats to adaptation to tailor interventions that promote healthy outcomes.