Effectiveness of a Two-Tier Family-Oriented Intervention in Enhancing the Family Functioning and Care Capacity of the Family Caregivers of Stroke Survivors: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Vivian Wei Qun Lou (Corresponding Author), Jennifer Yee Man Tang, Gary Kui Kai Lau, Terry Yat Sang Lum, Kenneth Fong, Rachel Wai Tung Ko, Clio Yuen Man Cheng, Joyce Yinqi Fu, Eddie S.L. Chow, Angus Chun Kwok Chu, Elsie Hui, NG Winnie Wing-ling, Felix Hon Wai Chan, C. C. Luk, T. K. Kwok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Stroke has profound impacts on families. Often, family members, including stroke survivors and the person who takes up the role of the primary caregiver, would encounter demands on finances, rehabilitation arrangement, and even conflicts. Hence, a family-oriented intervention is expected to enable families to rebuild internal and external resources to achieve optimal rehabilitation and community reintegration.

This study aims to describe a design of a two-tier family-oriented care management intervention for enhancing the family functioning and care capacity of the caregivers of stroke survivors.

The two-tier care management intervention was guided by a standardized protocol conducted by trained professional care managers (first tier) with the support of trained volunteers (second tier), which lasted for 8-12 weeks. Participants were recruited through collaborating hospitals according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. In order to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the two-tier care management intervention, a two-arm randomization multicenter study was designed, including an active comparison group, which was guided by a standardized protocol conducted by trained volunteers. Dyadic participants, including both stroke survivors and their primary caregivers for both groups, were invited to participate in a questionnaire survey using standardized and purposefully developed measures 3 times: before the intervention, immediately after the intervention, and 2 months after the intervention. The primary outcome was family functioning measured by the Family Role Performance Scale and Family Assessment Device-General Functioning Scale. The secondary outcomes included caregiving burden, depressive symptoms, care management strategies, and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio.

Recruitment began in January 2017 and was completed at the end of April 2019. Data collection was completed at the end of March 2020. As of March 2020, enrollment has been completed (n=264 stroke caregivers). A total of 200 participants completed the baseline questionnaires. We aim to publish the results by mid-2021.

This study successfully developed a two-tier care management protocol that aims to enhance the family functioning of the caregivers of stroke survivors. Guided by a standardized protocol, this family-oriented two-tier intervention protocol was found to be feasible among Chinese families.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16703
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2021


  • Family caregivers
  • Family functioning
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Stroke survivors
  • Two-tier family-oriented intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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