Telephone Assessment and Skill-Building Kit (TASK): A New Program for Family Caregivers of Stroke Survivors


Phase 1 Results N/A

Trial Description

The purpose of this study is to test a new educational program for families taking care of persons who have had a stroke. Caregivers are asked what they think of the TASK program and how to make it better. After getting the TASK program, their ability to provide care will be compared with a group that did not receive the TASK program.

Detailed Description

Stroke is the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States. Many people who have had a stroke need help from family members after they go home. Taking care of a stroke patient can be hard since they can be unable to walk, talk, see, or think clearly. Behavior problems, changes in personality, and depression are also common. Providing care for a family member with stroke can often lead to caregiver depression, social isolation, and health problems. Not having caregiving skills may be one reason for these problems. Programs are needed to help caregivers learn caregiving skills. Such skills include finding information about stroke, dealing with the stroke patient's emotions and behaviors, providing personal and other types of care, and taking care of oneself as a caregiver.
The National Institute of Nursing Research said that learning how to help families cope with a relatives' chronic illness is a very important area for research. The TASK program is an attempt to meet this need. If the TASK program appears to be helpful and usable in this small beginning study, we will then try to test the program more completely in a much larger research study.
The informed consent explains the purpose and procedures for the study. The purpose is to test the TASK program in a small group of family caregivers of persons who have had a stroke. Caregivers are assigned to either the TASK group or a second group. The TASK group will get the TASK notebook, and the second group will get a brochure from the American Stroke Association. Both groups will get a telephone call every week for 8 weeks from a nurse, each lasting about 30 minutes. At the beginning and at 4, 8, and 12 weeks there will be a longer interview lasting about an hour. Caregivers get a $20 Wal-Mart gift card for each of the 4 interview calls. Calls are made at times that are convenient for the caregiver. All calls are tape-recorded. No names are used on the tape recordings or on any of the interview questionnaires. There is a very small risk that some parts of the study may remind some caregivers of their own situations and may be stressful or upsetting. Caregivers may choose not to answer questions or may leave the study at any time. Taking part in the study is up to them. Benefits include getting a $20 Wal-Mart gift card after each long interview (up to $80 in Wal-Mart gift cards for all 4 interviews). Caregivers also get free written information about stroke and caregiving, and free calls from a nurse. Telephone numbers are provided for questions about the study, rights as a research participant, and who to contact for emotional distress.



  • TASK intervention Behavioral
    Intervention Desc: The Telephone Assessment and Skill-building Kit (TASK) is an individualized 8-week intervention program geared toward reducing depression and improving general health in stroke caregivers.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: 1
  • Attention Control Behavioral
    Other Names: Reflective Listening
    Intervention Desc: Minimal intervention beyond initial hospital visit.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: 2

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Open Label
  • Intervention: Parallel Assignment


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary To determine how useful the TASK program is for family caregivers; and to compare how difficult the caregiving tasks are for the caregivers, whether they feel depressed, and how they see their own health. baseline (within 2 months after the survivors discharge home), 4 weeks (half way through intervention), 8 weeks (end of intervention), 12 weeks. No