Charles Sturt’s health research partner program wins award

1 AUGUST 2019

Charles Sturt’s health research partner program wins award

A Charles Sturt University research project which was undertaken with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and Albury Wodonga Health was a winner at a recent awards ceremony in Wagga Wagga.

  • The stroke-specific self-management program targets one of Australia’s priority medical conditions and was developed for rural clients
  • Study showed significant improvements on all outcome measures including improved strength and mobility, cognitive abilities, and performance of daily activities
  • The program benefits Charles Sturt students by providing opportunities to implement evidence-based practice

A Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) research project, which was undertaken with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) and Albury Wodonga Health (AWH), was a winner at a recent awards ceremony in Wagga Wagga.

The research project titled Best Evidence for Stroke Rehabilitation Therapy (BEST), which targets one of the country’s most significant cardiovascular diseases, won the 2019 Research and Innovation Award at the 2019 MLHD Excellence Awards.

Senior lecturer in occupational therapy in the Charles Sturt School of Community Health in Albury-Wodonga Dr Melissa Nott (pictured second from right) said, “University-health service collaborations are an effective way to translate research evidence into clinical practice.

“The BEST program targeted the priority health area of stroke, one of the most significant cardiovascular diseases in Australia.

“The BEST study aimed to facilitate clinician and patient uptake of evidence-based stroke rehabilitation, and this two-year clinical research partnership between Charles Sturt, AWH, and the MLHD was led by Dr Leah Wiseman (AWH) and me.”

Dr Nott said this research benefits learning and teaching for Charles Sturt students by providing opportunities for students in the School of Community Health to participate in a collaborative partnership approach to implementing evidence-based practice.

“Stroke is one of the most significant medical conditions in Australia,” she said.

“However, it is still problematic that the National Stroke Foundation’s Clinical Guidelines are not routinely implemented by health practitioners in Australia, with only 50 per cent compliance.

“This project aimed to promote greater translation of existing evidence into practice through a partnership model that minimised many of the clinician-cited barriers and worked more collaboratively with patients adopting a long-term, self-management approach.”

A stroke-specific self-management program was developed and delivered to rural clients via home visits, phone support and online support.

The self-management program developed and evaluated in this project strategically aligns with the NSW State Health Plan by focusing on: ‘Keeping people healthy by managing their own health’ and ‘Improving access to high quality health care: right care, right time, as close to home as possible’.

Dr Nott said, “Seventy-seven participants have completed the 12-week stroke self-management program, and 76 per cent of participants achieved their goals during program.

“Significant improvements have been evident on all outcome measures, including improved strength and mobility, and improved cognitive abilities and performance of daily living activities.

“Participants reported improved satisfaction with daily living tasks, community participation, and sense of self-efficacy.”

The 2019 Research and Innovation Award was presented at the 2019 MLHD Excellence Awards on Friday 19 July in Wagga Wagga.


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Melissa Nott contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au

Photo: The award recipients are (left to right) Ms Jenny Preace (NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, the award sponsors), Ms Shannon Pike (MLHD), Dr Melissa Nott (Charles Sturt), Dr Leah Wiseman (Albury Wodonga Health).

Hospitalisation rates for cardiovascular disease within the Murrumbidgee District are significantly higher than the NSW state average (2,530/100,000 MLHD versus 1,745/100,000 NSW). 

Approximately 38 per cent of people who are disabled by stroke report their disability is primarily related to upper-limb dysfunction, with significant impacts on physical and emotional health, reduced performance of daily activities and reduced quality of life.

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