Quality of Life in Stroke Survivor-Caregiver Dyads: A New Conceptual Framework and Longitudinal Study Protocol

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conceptual framework, dyad, longitudinal study, nursing, quality of life, stroke, stroke caregiver, stroke survivor, study protocol

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Aim. To describe a new conceptual framework and the research protocol of a study designed to examine the quality of life in stroke survivor-caregiver dyads.

Background. Stroke has a significant impact on the patient-caregiver dyad. Few studies have been guided by a specific conceptual framework which considers the interactions among pre-existing situations prior to stroke, the new situation caused by the stroke and the moderating effects of environmental and caregiver-related variables.

Design. Longitudinal study.

Methods. A sample of stroke survivor-caregiver dyads will be enrolled at patient discharge from rehabilitation hospitals and will be surveyed every 3 months for 1-year. Hypotheses generated from the conceptual framework will test predictors, mediators and moderators of stroke survivor and caregiver quality of life from the pre-existing situation prior to the stroke, the new situation mediation poststroke and situation moderators. The study is supported by a grant from the Centre of Excellence for Nursing Scholarship, Rome, December 2013.

Discussion. This study seeks to identify variables in the pre-existing situation prior to the stroke (e.g. living condition), the new situation mediation poststroke (e.g. type of stroke and caregiver burden) as well as situation moderators (e.g. social support) that influence stroke survivor-caregiver dyad's quality of life across the stroke trajectory. Also, the study will inform clinical practice and research by identifying variables that are potentially modifiable and therefore amenable to intervention. The proposed framework will also be helpful for future research focused on stroke survivor-caregiver dyads.

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Journal of Advanced Nursing, v. 71, issue 3, p. 676-687