The impact of stroke is shared between the stroke survivor and their spousal/partner caregiver (carepartner).
An estimated 30-50% of stroke survivors and carepartners experience depressive or anxiety symptoms that
negatively affect rehabilitation outcomes and quality of life. Yet, interventions to support couples post-stroke
are largely insufficient or inaccessible. To address this need, we developed a novel remotely-delivered dyadic
intervention to promote Resilience in Stroke survivor-carepartner Dyads (ReStoreD), in which couples learn
and practice goal-setting, communication strategies, and positive psychology activities like expressing
gratitude, finding meaning, and fostering connections. Preliminary pilot study results were promising, showing
reduced depressive symptoms and increased resilience in participants. The purpose of the current study is to
conduct a Stage II efficacy trial of the 8-week ReStoreD intervention with a sample of 200 dyads (n=400)
consisting of one individual who has sustained an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke between 3 months and 3
years prior to enrollment and a cohabitating carepartner. Using a fully-powered, randomized waitlist-control
design, we will determine efficacy of ReStoreD to reduce emotional distress in both dyad members (Aim 1).
We will also examine effects of ReStoreD on secondary outcomes (resilience, relationship quality, stress-
related stroke, meaningful activity engagement) as potential mediators (Aim 2), and explore moderators to
determine whether certain subgroups respond better to the intervention (Aim 3). All participants will complete
standardized, validated assessments at baseline, 8 weeks, 16 weeks, and 6-month follow up. All aspects of the
study, including intervention activities and assessments, are conducted remotely, online.
This is the first rigorously designed efficacy trial to test a positive psychology intervention for stroke survivors
and their carepartners. When the aims of this study are realized, we will 1) have a remotely-delivered, dyadic
intervention to support couples post-stroke; 2) have a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the
intervention's effect on emotional distress, and can use this information to inform future interventions; and 3)
be able to identify a more specific target population for whom the intervention works best. Ultimately, if found
efficacious, this intervention will offer sustainable and accessible support for couples who are coping with
stroke to improve rehabilitation outcomes and quality of life.