Helping Care Givers of Stroke Victims
March 7, 2012
College of Nursing, Kochi
“When a person suffers from a stroke, the entire family is affected. Family members have to assume a great deal of responsibility to provide care at home. It is not an easy task, one has to have the right cognitive skills to perform the role of a caregiver,” stated Prof. Kanmani Job of the Amrita College of Nursing.
Prof. Job was speaking at the Second International Conference on Research Methods in Chennai organized by the International Centre for Collaborative Research at a College of Nursing.
Her paper titled Role Strain and Coping Among Care Givers of Stroke Clients – Mixed Method Research was adjudged the second-best paper presented at the conference.
Prof. Job conducted her study among caregivers of stroke clients who were treated at the Department of Neurology in the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences.
The study focused on identifying the level of role strain in caregivers of stroke victims. Role strain here referred to the strain experienced by a family member as a result of assuming the role of a caregiver.
“The research method incorporated both quantitative and qualitative approaches; hence the nomenclature, mixed research method. The modified Rankin scale was used for measuring the degree of disability of stroke victims. Care giver role strain index and ways-of-coping questionnaires were used for assessing role strain and the coping capability of caregivers. Unstructured in-depth interviews were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim to collect qualitative data,” Prof. Job explained.
The study revealed that 85% of the respondents experienced role strain.
“Role strain in physical, emotional and financial aspects were reported by care givers. Association of role strain with the age and physical disability of the patient was noted to be significant,” the professor elaborated.
Highlighting the fact that nurses can contribute a great deal in reducing strain and other difficulties of the caregivers, Prof. Job made several recommendations.
“Nurses can implement effective interventions such as caregiver education and training programs, provision of social support programs. To reduce the role strain in care givers, nurses can explain home care management to them and can teach them different coping strategies.”
Prof. Job acknowledged the guidance and support received from Prof. K.T. Moly, Principal, Amrita College of Nursing; Dr. R. Kirthivasan, Professor and Head of the Department of Stroke Medicine and Dr. Anand Kumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology for the successful completion of her study.