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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Jul;96(7):487-505. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000717.

Needs of Stroke Survivors as Perceived by Their Caregivers: A Scoping Review.

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From the Department of Occupational Therapy (SK, TAR), Division of Rehabilitation Sciences (MRP, KJO, TAR), Preventive Medicine and Community Health (SCW), and Sealy Center on Aging (MS, KJO, TAR), University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; and Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (AK).



Caregivers usually are not involved while planning the stroke survivor's medical and rehabilitation goals and interventions. This review aimed to identify the needs of stroke survivors as perceived by their caregivers.


A literature search from 2003 to 2014 was conducted using Medline, CINAHL, PsychINFO, and Google Scholar. Sixty-six studies were included. Most studies excluded did not encompass caregivers' perspectives. Four reviewers screened the titles, abstracts, and full texts of the articles for inclusion. The data extracted from these studies were synthetized into metathemes.


Fifty-two qualitative, ten quantitative survey, and four mixed-methods studies were included in the final synthesis. The studies came from 11 countries. The data synthesis produced following three metathemes: (a) body functional needs, including psychological function, physical function, cognitive function, and uncertainty related to function; (b) activity and participatory needs, including healthy lifestyle, physical activities, speech, independence, cognitive activities, and uncertainty related to activities and participation; and (c) environmental needs, encompassing support, services, safety, accommodation and accessibility, and uncertainty related to environmental factors.


This scoping review identified a range of needs of stroke survivors as perceived by their caregivers. Incorporating the caregiver's preferences and values into clinical decisions may improve outcomes among stroke survivors.

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