View graph of relations
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 (TO) 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.