English abstract: The Caregivers' Guide
The Caregivers' Guide is an innovative support concept for carers of stroke survivors, which was tested and evaluated in the medical care area of Aachen, Germany. The pilot project was financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (funding period: October 2012 to September 2015) . The project’s concept is outreach-oriented and personal, giving constant support to relatives of stroke patients throughout rehabilitation.
A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was chosen to gather data on the experiences and assessments of the caregivers, as well as changes during the counselling process. 62 caregivers completed questionnaires before and after the intervention. Additionally, 30 qualitative interviews were carried out. Positive effects could be observed in accordance with the project goals, especially regarding provision of appropriate information, burden reduction and strengthening clients' resources. The accompaniment by a fixed reference person was viewed as helpful, the combination of professional knowledge and emotional support was deemed most essential.
The pilot project's schedule is completed meanwhile. Based on the project's experiences and the results of the accompanying study, The Caregivers' Guide can be considered as a 'best practice'-concept in caregiver support during neurologic rehabilitation. The concept "The Caregivers’ Guide" is suitable as an impetus of innovation regarding the development of counseling structures for family caregivers.