Welcome to the CARE-CITE Project
Hello! My name is Sarah Blanton and I am a physical therapist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. My research involves caregiving and stroke rehabilitation. Our current study, CARE-CITE (CAREgiving and Constraint-Induced Therapy Evaluation) is exploring a family focused therapy approach to improve use of the arm after stroke.
Family members (“carepartners”) can play an important and valuable role in recovery after a loved one has a stroke. However, this role of caregiving can often increase feelings of burden, anxiety, depression and isolation. Our research is exploring how clinicians can better involve the family into rehabilitation therapy to help the stroke survivor and the family member too. We use the term carepartner because you are not just a care “giver” but a true “partner” in the care of your loved one.
In our early work, we created an educational workbook for families to learn to work together with the stroke survivor during therapy for the arm. Reviewing this information about stroke recovery helped family members have less depressive symptoms and have less family disagreements about how to help the stroke survivor. By including the carepartner in therapy, we hope to improve the outcomes of the whole family after stroke.
Now we would like to put the information from the workbook into a web-based program so that family members can more easily review the material and also learn from instructional videos. We believe that this information will help family members continue to support the stroke survivor to improve use of the weaker arm in activities even after therapy is over. By understanding more about stroke recovery, we feel the carepartner will have less feelings of depression and less family disagreements about how to help the stroke survivor.
The long-term goal of this research is to increase our understanding of how involving the family in rehabilitation therapy can help both stroke survivors and their carepartners. By learning the best way to involve family members in therapy, we hope to decrease the harmful effects of stroke. We would like to develop interventions that may serve as models of care for all families with a loved one going through recovery treatment from devastating injuries to the brain.