1. Blanton, Sarah PT, DPT, FNAP
  2. Dunbar, Sandra PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, FPCNA
  3. Caston, Sarah PT, DPT, NCS, GCS
  4. McLaughlin, Theresa OTR/L, CBIS
  5. Stewart, Heather MS, OTR/L
  6. Clark, Patricia C. PhD, RN, FAAN


Conducting research in the home environment presents challenges related to setting, study participants, methods, and researchers. Researchers should be aware of potential challenges to ensure rigor and improve planning for future studies. This paper describes difficulties experienced and lessons learned when conducting a two-group, randomized pilot study (n = 32) of a web-based intervention (Carepartner and Constraint-Induced Therapy [CARE-CITE]) designed to foster positive carepartner engagement in home-based activities to improve upper extremity function in persons with stroke. Challenges and issues included: 1) recruitment and referral, 2) data collection in the home setting, 3) participants' understanding of the rationale for adhering to constraint-induced movement therapy principles (wearing mitt on the less-affected limb), 4) tracking adherence of upper extremity practice time, 5) participant-driven goal setting, 6) potentially unsafe participant practice activities, 7) home visit safety, 8) encouraging versus controlling-using autonomy support, 9) participant needs beyond study scope, and 10) ethical safeguards for addressing depressive symptoms. Researchers can incorporate suggested strategies to support methodological rigor and facilitate interventions engaging carepartners in the rehabilitation process when planning for research in the home environment.