Care giver training helps stroke victims

May 7, 2004 at 6:49 PM
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LONDON, May 7 (UPI) -- Studies in this week's British Medical Journal say training care givers of disabled stroke patients in basic nursing skills improves quality of life.

Such training also helps save money, the two studies said.

Informal care givers support disabled stroke patients at home but often feel inadequately trained, poorly informed, and dissatisfied with the support available, they said.

The studies involved 300 stroke patients and their care givers. Care givers provided either conventional support, or were trained in basic nursing tasks, moving and handling skills, and personal care techniques.

Trained care givers experienced less anxiety, depression, and had a significantly higher quality of life than non-trained care givers.

Although patient deaths and disability were not influenced by caregiver training, patients whose care givers had received training reported significantly improved quality of life and psychological wellbeing, the studies said.

The costs of care over one year for patients whose care givers had received training also were significantly lower, from about $20,000 to about $15,000.

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