Calling stroke clients for BEST study


Thursday, 31 May 2018

* Call for stroke patients living in southern NSW to take part in an ‘at home’ rehabilitation project.

* 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.

* Project participants and carers will have access to extensive support materials and phone support for 12 weeks.

* Participating clinicians will also receive support as part of the project.

Have you had a stroke in the last six months and live in or near Albury-Wodonga or Wagga Wagga? Do you experience cognitive or upper limb difficulties?

A research team supported by Charles Sturt University (CSU), Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Albury-Wodonga Health are looking for participants to test a program over 12 weeks that assists patients in their recovery from the debilitating effects of stroke.

Participants and their carers will have access to the Best Evidence for Stroke Therapies (BEST) website that can help stroke patients to regain some or all of their capabilities before the stroke occurred.

Project leader Dr Melissa Nott (pictured left), an occupational therapy lecturer with the CSU School of Community Health, is part of the team that developed the BEST website.

“The website is a one-stop shop for helpful resources including 'step-by-step' guides, information and instruction sheets and videos, home activity records and goal setting worksheets.

“On the same site, clinicians such as occupational therapists and speech pathologists can access 'how-to' videos, implementation checklists and evidence summaries to help them implement and evaluate their stroke-related care of patients, working as a team with the stoke patient.

"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," said Dr Nott said, who is based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

"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."

See 'Cheryl' from Wagga Wagga as she tells her story on the importance of a team approach to her rehabilitation after a stroke.

The program incorporates use of the BEST website (pictured right) with phone coaching and training for clinicians to help stroke patients drive their own recovery from home over 12 weeks, supported by the research team.

The BEST website has been trialled and refined since 2017, and we are now ready to expand its use across areas covered by the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Albury-Wodonga Health.

“Positive results for this expanded trial will have application for rehabilitation services across regional Australia and for patients living in isolated circumstances.”

To apply to join the BEST project or for further information, contact Ms Tana Cuming on 02 6051 9266 or email bestresearch@csu.edu.au.

Media contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews in Albury-Wodonga with Dr Melissa Nott.

Research partner Dr Shannon Pike with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District is available for interviews in Wagga Wagga. Contact Ms Sally Druitt on (02) 6933 91781 or email Sally.Druitt@health.nsw.gov.au to arrange interviews with Dr Pike.

See the BEST website here.