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Perrin PB, Johnston A, Vogel B, Heesacker M, Vega-Trujillo M, Anderson J, Rittman M. A culturally sensitive Transition Assistance Program for stroke caregivers: examining caregiver mental health and stroke rehabilitation. Journal of rehabilitation research and development. 2010 Jan 1; 47(7):605-17.
This study developed and implemented the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for stroke caregivers. The program is composed of (1) skill development, (2) education, and (3) supportive problem solving. Sixty-one dyads (n = 122) participated: thirty-nine from Puerto Rico and twenty-two from Texas. Participants were randomly assigned to the TAP treatment or a control group. As caregiver satisfaction with the TAP increased, strain and depression decreased, and caregivers reported a very high rate of program satisfaction (9.5 out of 10). The TAP effectively reduced caregiver strain at the 3-month follow-up. When controlling for baseline differences, we found that the treatment group had lower depression (p = 0.07) than the control group at follow-up and that the TAP may have had a preventative effect on depression for caregivers who had not been depressed at discharge, although this visual trend did not reach statistical significance. Among veterans with low functioning at baseline, veterans whose caregivers had received the TAP improved in functioning more than did veterans whose caregivers had been in the control group, although this visual trend was not significant. Functioning in veterans with stroke was also significantly linked to caregiver satisfaction with the TAP. The findings from the current study warrant further evaluation of the TAP intervention.