Tamilyn Bakas realizes family caregivers are commonly neglected by health care providers in the practice setting. This is especially true for the 68% to 74% of stroke survivors who require the care of family members after they return home. Research indicates that family caregivers of stroke survivors have needs in five main areas:
1) Finding information about stroke
2) Managing the survivor's emotions and behaviors
3) Providing physical care
5) Dealing with one's own personal responses to providing care
Dr. Bakas developed the Telephone Assessment and Skill-Building Kit (TASK) in a study funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. The TASK program includes a notebook with 40 tip sheets and 8 weekly calls by a nurse to help families develop the skills they need to provide care for a stroke survivor during the first few months after he or she comes home. If shown to improve outcomes in a future randomized controlled clinical trial, the TASK program will be translated into practice to provide health care providers with a program they can use for follow-up care for family caregivers of stroke survivors.
Professor Bakas' translation of information about caring for stroke survivors into a practical program for family caregivers is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.