Background and Purpose: Stroke family caregivers commonly neglect their own needs while providing care resulting in depressive symptoms, negative life changes, and poor health. Intervention programs that address stroke caregiver needs should not only be efficacious, but also be useful, easy to use, and acceptable to caregivers. The purpose of this study was to determine caregiver satisfaction with the Telephone Assessment and Skill-Building Kit (TASK II) compared with an Information, Support, and Referral (ISR) group.
Methods: TASK II involved a mailed Resource Guide with 8 weekly calls from a nurse to address caregiver needs through skill-building. ISR involved a standard stroke caregiver brochure with information, support, and referral provided through active listening. In a randomized controlled clinical trial, 216 stroke caregivers provided satisfaction ratings for either TASK II (n=104) or the ISR intervention (n=112) using the Satisfaction Scale (usefulness, ease of use, acceptability). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent samples t tests, and Cohen’s d.
Results: On a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 representing strongly agree, caregivers rated both interventions as highly satisfactory [Usefulness (TASK II M=4.4,SD=.5; ISR M=4.1,SD=.5); Ease of use (TASK II M=4.4, SD=.5; ISR M=4.2, SD=.5); Acceptability (TASK II M=4.3, SD=.6; ISR M=4.1, SD=.6); Total satisfaction (TASK II M=4.4, SD=.5; ISR M=4.2, SD=.5)]. Significant differences using Bonferroni correction (alpha=.05/4 comparisons=.0125) were found with moderate effect sizes favoring the TASK II over the ISR for the Usefulness subscale [t(214)=3.72, p=.00, d=.51] and for the Total Satisfaction Scale [t(214)=3.75, p=.00, d=.52].
Conclusions: Both TASK II and ISR were highly rated by caregivers. TASK II was found to be more useful and satisfactory than simply providing information, support, and referral. Addressing stroke caregiver needs though skill-building strategies (e.g., problem solving and stress management) is perceived as being more useful and satisfactory for caregivers than other standard methods.