Project: Research project

Project Details


The aim of this project is to use epidemiologic methods in a randomized
clinical trial to test the effects of a psychosocial intervention to
improve functional ability in elderly stroke patients. The proposed
intervention is designed to mobilize the social networks of stroke
patients, comprised for the most part of family and close friends, to
provide effective emotional and instrumental support and increase the
patient's sense of self-efficacy regarding ability to regain function.
This intervention is tailored specifically to the needs of individual
stroke patients, their families and support systems and is designed to
occur in 15 meetings over a 6 month period. Stroke patients (n=290) from
the 2 major hospitals in New Haven will be randomly allocated to the
psychosocial intervention (PSI) and usual care (UC) groups. Primary
endpoints are assessed at 3 and 6 months and are based on self-reports and
performance-based assessments of functional ability. Several longitudinal epidemiological studies have reported that social
support influences recovery of functional ability both in terms of
physical functioning and psychological adjustment in stroke patients.
Furthermore a number of observational cohort studies have indicated that
lack of social support is related to increased mortality, especially case-
fatality. Finally, several recent intervention studies have shown that
psychosocial interventions have led to improved psychosocial adjustment in
stroke patients and longer survival in patients with other chronic
illness. Important components of these interventions have been focused on
improving or providing support to patients with chronic illness and
improving family functioning. To date, no interventions have focused specifically on the outcome we
consider to be a critical one - improvement in physical functioning. Our
aim is to employ rigorous clinical trial methodology to test the
effectiveness of a psychosocial intervention to improve functioning in
elderly stroke patients.
Effective start/end date9/1/835/31/06


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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