Development and validation of a quality of relationship intervention for stroke survivor-family caregiver dyads

Michael J. McCarthy, Y. Evie Garcia, Dorothy J. Dunn, Karen S. Lyons, Tamilyn Bakas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: The relationship between stroke survivors and family caregivers is critical for the well-being of both dyad members. Currently, there are few interventions targeted at dyads and focused on strengthening the relationship between survivors and family caregivers. Objectives: This study reports on the development of a customizable, strengths-based, relationship-focused intervention driven by the real-world experience and advice of stroke dyads. It also describes the “tips” that survivors and family caregivers offered for dealing with relationship challenges after stroke. Methods: Content of the intervention, including relationship tips, was derived from semi-structured interviews with N= 19 stroke dyads. A modified Delphi process with a national panel of 10 subject matter experts was used to evaluate and refine the content of the intervention and the associated screening tool. Results: Seventeen domains of relationship challenges and tips were identified. Consensus was reached among experts that the intervention content was relevant to the goal of helping survivors and family caregivers maintain a strong relationship after stroke; (2) clear from the perspective of stroke survivors and family caregivers who would be using it; (3) accurate with respect to the advice being offered, and; (4) useful for helping stroke survivors and family caregivers improve the quality of their relationship. Conclusions: This study extends the limited body of research about dyadic interventions after stroke. The next steps in this line of research include feasibility testing the intervention and evaluating its efficacy in a larger trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-315
Number of pages11
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 18 2020


  • Stroke
  • content validity
  • dyads; couples
  • family caregivers
  • intervention
  • relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Community and Home Care
  • Clinical Neurology


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