Systematic Review of the Evidence for Stroke Family Caregiver and Dyad Interventions

Tamilyn Bakas, Michael J. McCarthy, Elaine L. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Stroke family caregiver and dyad literature has expanded over the past few years. The purpose of this review was to build upon 2 prior systematic reviews to critique, analyze, and synthesize the evidence pertaining to the impact of family caregiver and dyad interventions on stroke survivor and family caregiver outcomes. CINAHL, PsychINFO, PubMed, and reference lists were searched from December 1, 2016 through March 31, 2021. Using PRISMA guidelines (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses), articles were identified that tested outcomes from stroke family caregiver or dyad interventions that targeted the health or well-being of family caregivers. Data from the articles were abstracted into tables for analysis, then compared with recommendations from the 2 prior systematic reviews. A total of 18 articles met inclusion criteria (10 caregiver interventions; 8 dyad interventions) representing sample sizes ranging from 7 to 349 caregivers or dyads. Most were randomized controlled trials (n=13); 2 were cluster randomized trials; and 3 were single-group quasi-experimental designs. Of the 18 studies, 8 had <50 caregivers or dyads and 5 were small feasibility studies that reported data trends rather than testing for significance. Only 6 studies reported significant survivor outcomes. Eleven studies reported significant caregiver outcomes, the most common being burden. A number of survivor and caregiver outcomes were not significant, or only significant for certain subgroups. The limited number of studies, small sample sizes, and conflicting results, made it difficult to draw firm conclusions regarding the impact of these interventions on outcomes. Based on the available evidence from these 18 studies, recommendations from the 2 prior reviews were generally supported. Well-designed and well-powered randomized controlled clinical trials are still needed to confirm efficacy of stroke family caregiver and dyad interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2093-2102
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • caregiver
  • clinical trials
  • feasibility studies
  • stroke
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Systematic Review of the Evidence for Stroke Family Caregiver and Dyad Interventions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this