Effects of family group conferences among high-risk patients of chronic disability and their significant others: study protocol for a multicentre controlled trial

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Many patients and family members experience a large gap between the protected environment during inpatient medical rehabilitation and life in the community after discharge. They feel insufficiently prepared to cope with the consequences of their disability in daily life. This study protocol describes the design measuring the effectiveness and implementation of family group conferences on the empowerment of patients with a high risk of chronic disability and their significant others.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A multicentre controlled trial will be carried out in 12 rehabilitation centres in the Netherlands. A total of 328 clinically admitted patients will participate (≥18 years, diagnosed with acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury or leg amputation), and their significant others will be included. During three family group conferences, supported by the social worker, the patient, significant other and their social network will be stimulated in collaboration, to set up participation goals, determine the needed help and make a concrete action plan. Self-reported questionnaires will be collected at baseline, clinical discharge, and 3 months and 6 months following clinical discharge. Empowerment as the primary outcome is operationalised as self-efficacy and participation. Secondary outcome measures are psychological (eg, coping, neuroticism) and environmental (eg, family functioning, social support) factors. This is the first controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of family group conferences in rehabilitation medicine among adult patients and their significant others, providing us with knowledge in improving rehabilitation care.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of the University Medical Center Utrecht (number 15-617/C). The results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented in local, national and international conferences.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NTR5742; Pre-results.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere018883
Pages (from-to)e018883
JournalBMJ open [E]
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • neurology
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • spine
  • stroke

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