Randomised controlled trial of an education and support package for stroke patients and their carers

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Journal Article

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Eames, S., Hoffmann, T., Worrall, L., Read, S., & Wong, A. (2013). Randomised controlled trial of an education and support package for stroke patients and their carers. BMJ Open, 3(e002538), 1-10. ISSN: 2044-6055

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© Copyright The Authors, 2013




Objective Tailoring stroke information and providing reinforcement opportunities are two strategies proposed to enhance the effectiveness of education. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an education package which utilised both strategies on the knowledge, health and psychosocial outcomes of stroke patients and carers.

Design Multisite, randomised trial comparing usual care with an education and support package.

Setting Two acute stroke units.

Participants Patients and their carers (N=138) were randomised (control n=67, intervention n=71) of which data for 119 participants (control n=59, intervention n=60) were analysed.

Intervention The package consisted of a computer-generated, tailored written information booklet and verbal reinforcement provided prior to, and for 3 months following, discharge.

Outcome measures Outcome measures were administered prior to hospital discharge and at 3-month follow-up by blinded assessors. The primary outcome was stroke knowledge (score range: 0–25). Secondary outcomes were: self-efficacy (1–10), anxiety and depression (0–21), ratings of importance of information (1–10), feelings of being informed (1–10), satisfaction with information (1–10), caregiver burden (carers) (0–13) and quality of life (patients) (1–5).

ResultsIntervention group participants reported better: self-efficacy for accessing stroke information (adjusted mean difference (MD) of 1.0, 95% CI 0.3 to 1.7, p=0.004); feeling informed (MD 0.9, 95% CI 0.2 to 1.6, p=0.008); and satisfaction with medical (MD 2.0, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.8, p

Conclusions Intervention group participants had improved self-efficacy for accessing stroke information and satisfaction with information, but other outcomes were not significantly affected. Evaluation of a more intensive intervention in a trial with a larger sample size is required to establish the value of an educational intervention that uses tailoring and reinforcement strategies.



This document has been peer reviewed.