BEST evidence for stroke patients


Monday, 1 May 2017

Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers are working with local health services to improve the rehabilitation of adults who have had strokes in southern NSW.

CSU's Dr Melissa Nott and Dr Leah Wiseman from Albury Wodonga Health are seeking to improve the uptake and use of evidence-based guidelines from the National Stroke Foundation to help people who have had a stroke in a single comprehensive website.

The website was developed in collaboration between CSU, Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Albury-Wodonga Health as part of the Best Evidence for Stroke Therapies (BEST) project.

"We developed the BEST website to encourage people with stroke to drive their own recovery with assistance from their carers and local clinicians," said Dr Nott, a researcher and occupational therapy lecturer with the School of Community Health at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

['Cheryl' from Wagga Wagga tells her story here on the importance of a team approach to her rehabilitation after a stroke.]

Resources available for patients and carers on the website include 'step-by-step' guides, information and instructions sheets and videos, home activity records and goal setting worksheets. On the same site, clinicians can access 'how-to' videos, implementation checklists and evidence summaries to help them implement and evaluate their stroke-related care.

"We wanted to provide all the information that would be needed by both patients and clinicians so that clinicians feel more confident to implement the National Stroke Guidelines and that patients receive the best quality care," Dr Nott said.

"Geographical distance from health services can make it difficult for patients in regional NSW to access outpatient services once they have been discharged from hospital. This website offers an alternative way to ensure all patients can access the highest quality rehabilitation."

Stroke is associated with cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death and disease burden in Australia. The rate of cardiovascular disease in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District is significantly higher than the NSW average and is a priority area for the region.

The BEST project uses the website as part of an investigation into how to improve outcomes for people who have had a stroke in regional and remote areas of Australia.

The project and website will be officially launched in Wagga Wagga at the Acute Stroke Unit, Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital, at 12.30pm on Thursday 4 May.

Results from the project are due in June 2018. The project is funded by NSW Health and its Translational Research Grant Scheme.

Media contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:
For interviews with Dr Melissa Nott, contact CSU Media.