A journal dedicated to allied health professional practice and education
Vol. 2 No. 4    ISSN 1540-580X 

An E-rehabilitation Team Helps Caregivers Deal with Stroke

Lisa Keaton, MSW, LSW1
Linda L. Pierce, PhD, RN, CNS, CRRN, FAHA

Victoria Steiner, PhD3

Karen Lance MS, CCC-SLP4

Michelle Masterson, PhD, PT5

Martin S. Rice, Ph.D., OTR/L6

Julie L. Smith, MS, RD, LD, CDE7

  1. Geriatric Social Worker, Medical College of Ohio, The Center for Successful Aging,
    Toledo, Ohio

  2. Professor, Medical College of Ohio, School of Nursing, Toledo, Ohio

  3. Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio

  4. Director, Rehabilitation Services, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio

  5. Assistant Professor, Medical College of Ohio, School of Allied Health, Department of Physical Therapy, Toledo, Ohio

  6. Associate Professor, Medical College of Ohio, School of Allied Health, Department of Occupational Therapy, Toledo, Ohio

  7. Clinical Dietician, Firelands Regional Medical Center, Sandusky, Ohio

Citation: Keaton, L., Pierce, L., Steiner, V., Lance, K., Masterson, M., Rice, M., Smith, J.; An E-rehabilitation team helps caregivers deal with stroke. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. October 2004. Volume 2 Number 4.


Objective: The purpose of this report is to present the findings from a secondary analysis of email questions from adult caregivers of persons with stroke directed to a nurse specialist and members of an electronic (E)-rehabilitation team. This analysis explored what caregivers new to the role asked in dealing with the outcomes of stroke. Materials and Method: Thirteen caregivers submitted questions and had them answered through use of Caring~Web©, a web-based intervention for caregivers of persons with stroke. Data were gleaned from email messages on Ask-the-Nurse, a one-on-one discussion with the nurse specialist, and Caretalk, an email discussion with the entire group. These data constituted the content for the qualitative analyses. QSR N 5, previously known as NUD*IST, was the qualitative data management program used to enter, track, explore, code and search all narrative data. Results: The caregiversí questions centered on: 1) medication management (19%), 2) community and government services (23%), and 3) stroke and related issues in dealing with stroke (58%). These findings, using Friedemannís framework of systemic organization as a guide, indicated that the caregivers were seeking new knowledge [individuation in Friedemannís terms] along with supporting one another [coherence], as they sought to maintain themselves and their care recipients [system maintenance]. Conclusion: These are important topics for which information was needed as caregivers sought to maintain themselves and their care recipients in the home.

Keywords and terms: Internet, rehabilitation team, CVA, caregivers, support, education

Acknowledgements: The caregivers are thanked for their participation in this project. Lawrence H. Horn, MD, Professor, and Gregory Bartlett Siegel, RPh, CGP, JD, pharmacist, at the Medical College of Ohio and Amy Govoni, MSN, RN, CS, Associate Professor at Cleveland State University are acknowledged for their work, as members of the E-rehabilitation team. Teresa Cervantez Thompson, PhD, RN, CRRN-A, Assistant Professor at Oakland University and Marie Luise Friedemann, PhD, RN, Professor at Florida International University are credited for their work as consultants for this project. This research is supported by grant RO1 NR07650, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health.

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