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Researchers contribute to patient resource for stroke survivors self-management

29 June 2015

New selfhelp4stroke website for people who have had a stroke

New selfhelp4stroke website for people who have had a stroke

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) researchers have provided their expertise in stroke self-management to a new website for anyone who has had a stroke, to help them gain control of their lives and set goals for rehabilitation, and health and wellbeing.

Selfhelp4stroke (www.selfhelp4stroke.org) has been launched with expertise and input from healthcare professionals, researchers, and stroke survivors with an interest in stroke and self-management.

Over half of the 1.1 million stroke survivors living in the UK have persistent stroke-related disabilities with physical, cognitive and emotional impairments that may require continued lifelong care and support to self-manage. Self-management interventions for stroke survivors can have a positive impact on quality of life.

GCU researchers Dr Maggie Lawrence, Professor Frederike van Wijck, Dr Lisa Kidd and Dr Elaine Duncan have expertise across nursing, psychology and neurological rehabilitation. They have completed a number of studies aiming to understand perceptions, and experiences of stroke self-management and prevention of recurrent stroke, informing research into designing, implementing and evaluating interventions that offer person-centred self-management support for people who have had a stroke, family members and carers.

GCU is ranked in the top 20 in the UK for allied health research at world-leading and internationally excellent standards. The team’s research comprises an interdisciplinary portfolio of work streams spanning communication, continence, oral health, physical activity and rehabilitation, secondary stroke prevention and self-management.

On Selfhelp4stroke, information is displayed in video, audio and interactive formats offering support and helpful techniques from real experiences of people who have had a stroke. Many of the resources are downloadable.

Selfhelp4stroke was developed by Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in partnership with NHS Scotland, stroke service users, Edinburgh University with funding from the National Advisory Committee for Stroke.

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Project Manager Heather Bryceland said: “Selfhelp4stroke has been designed to help people gain control of their life after stroke by helping them set goals and supporting them to achieve them. We are going to be using selfhelp4stroke to measure self-management uptake following stroke. I am delighted to be involved in this research.”

Stroke survivor John Fogarty, 60, is a former Commercial Manager with British Airways who suffered a stroke whilst recovering from an operation for pancreatic cancer. John, who is the website guide, said: “As someone who has had a stroke, I’m delighted to be involved in Selfhelp4stroke, and I’m totally sold on the self-management strategy. There’s a wealth of valuable information on this website and I’m sure that it will change the lives of many people post-stroke.”

Researchers from GCU, led by Dr Lisa Kidd, are currently also developing a new network to promote stroke self-management and, specifically, to bridge the gap between stroke self-management research and practice. Healthcare practitioners are well placed to lead the way in promoting, encouraging and supporting stroke survivors’ engagement in self-management.