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Family support for stroke: one year follow up of a randomised controlled trial
  1. J Mant1,
  2. S Winner2,
  3. J Roche3,
  4. D T Wade4
  1. 1Department of Primary Care and General Practice, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Clinical Geratology, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK
  3. 3School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford
  4. 4Neurological Rehabilitation Service, Oxford Centre for Enablement, Windmill Road, Oxford
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Jonathan Mant
 Department of Primary Care and General Practice, Primary Care Clinical Sciences Building, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK;


Background: There is evidence that family support can benefit carers of stroke patients, but not the patients themselves.

Objective: To extend the follow up of a single blind randomised controlled trial of family support for stroke patients and carers to one year to ascertain whether there were any late effects of the intervention.

Methods: The study was a randomised controlled trial. Patients admitted to hospital with acute stroke who had a close carer were assigned to receive family support or normal care. Families were visited at home by a researcher 12 months after the stroke, and a series of questionnaires was administered to patient and carer.

Results: The benefits to carers mostly persisted, though they were no longer statistically significant because some patients were lost to follow up. There was no evidence of any effects on patients.

Conclusion: Family support is effective for carers, but different approaches need to be considered to alleviate the psychosocial problems of stroke patients.

  • FSO, family support organiser
  • SF-36, short form 36 item health assessment questionnaire
  • caregiver
  • family support
  • stroke

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  • The study was funded by the Stroke Association. All the authors are fully independent from the Stroke Association.

  • Competing interests: Both DTW and JM have received research grants from the Stroke Association and have in the past served on the Research and Development Committee of the Stroke Association.