Department of Health Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Posters, Speeches, Lectures, etc.


The Use of a Patient-Centered Relationship Enrichment Training Program to Improve Quality of Life for Caregivers and Survivor's of Cerebrovascular Accident


Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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Design and Methodology: A patient-centered program was developed to enable caregivers and survivors of stroke to work through lifestyle transformation and challenges associated with often life-altering impact of a CVA. A pilot study, using a qualitative design, investigated outcomes of this educational program. Participants were recruited through support groups, healthcare providers and word of mouth. Four dyads participated in six 2-hour/month group sessions providing discussion, coping/stress management strategies, and communication skills. Sessions focused on promoting self-awareness of attitudes/emotions, re-building relationships and improving quality of life. Caregivers maintained a diary and completed weekly enrichment activities to support self-reflection. Caregiver and facilitator training manuals were developed to promote uniformity of program delivery. Inclusion criteria: 1) survivors of CVA at a minimum mild cognitive level of 19- 20 (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) and 2) caregivers providing primary care to a survivor of CVA living at home. One on one interviews with caregivers explored their perceptions of the program’s impact. Original Data and Results: Qualitative data analysis demonstrated 3 themes: 1) Change in perceived sense of self: Juggling multiple roles 2) Impact of disability- Systemic family disharmony 3) Reframing challenges: On the path towards balance and positive family dynamics. Caregivers expressed belief that change would occur through incremental gains, and that strategies learned could foster improved family relationships/quality of life. Conclusion: This program shows potential to reframe communication barriers, improve quality of life for caregivers and survivors of CVA and ultimately, promote efficient/effective use of healthcare resources. It is recommended a larger study be conducted.


Medicine and Health Sciences

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