Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Whitney Lucas Molitor, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, BCG
stroke, telehealth, community-based, caregiver, support
Supporting Caregivers and Survivors of Stroke in their Journey through Stroke Recovery via Telehealth Services
Background: Strokes are a prevalent condition around the world that cause chronic functional deficits. Survivors of stroke and their caregivers in the community report limited social participation, decreased involvement in favored occupations, worse health outcomes, and increased rates of anxiety and stress. Occupational therapists have the skills to provide education and support for this population through community programs using telehealth.
Methodology: This project was completed at the American Stroke Foundation (ASF), which was operating virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Webinars, caregiver support groups, daily zoom sessions, and educational materials posted on Facebook and YouTube were provided for caregivers involved in ASF. A questionnaire was administered via Google Survey to identify their perceptions of the impact of virtual programming.
Results: Overall, 62% of participants “Strongly Agreed”, 31% “Agreed”, and 7% “Strongly Disagreed” that they were satisfied with programming. Furthermore, 70% of participants “Agreed”, 15% “Strongly Agreed” and 15% were “Neutral” that services had a positive impact on their QOL. Caregivers expressed that involvement in support groups has increased their wellbeing, social connectedness, and knowledge on stroke recovery.
Implications: Results show that community programs delivered through telehealth can have a positive impact on those affected by stroke. Future research is needed to compare outcomes from in-person intervention to telehealth services to further identify its impact.
Kamphoff, Keri, "Supporting Caregivers and Survivors of Stroke in their Journey through Stroke Recovery via Telehealth Services" (2021). Occupational Therapy Capstone Presentations. 25.