GCU inspires international stroke researchers

27 April 2017

GCU inspires international stroke researchers

Internationally renowned stroke research experts are to gather at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) for a colloquium on secondary prevention of stroke.

Visiting speakers from University College Dublin, Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the University of Winchester, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Gothenburg will join GCU researchers.

Following the morning’s programme, members of the collaborative network of European stroke secondary prevention researchers – INSsPiRE: International Network of Stroke secondary Prevention Researchers – will meet to engage in Delphi expert consensus work that will underpin an action plan for stroke research outcomes and to support collaborative bids for research funding.

The INSsPIRE network is led by Dr Maggie Lawrence, GCU Senior Research Fellow, who has conducted systematic reviews to assess the effectiveness of behavioural secondary prevention interventions to prevent recurrent stroke; stroke survivor and family member perspectives of stroke interventions; and the effectiveness of structured, group-based self-management programmes with potential to help people with long-term conditions cope better with physical, psychological, or emotional distress.

Dr Lawrence said: “There is considerable energy and enthusiasm for stroke secondary prevention work in Europe, and globally. In particular, in work that focuses on improving long-term outcomes by addressing the need for increased knowledge and awareness about stroke, and support for initiating and sustaining positive changes to lifestyle risk factor behaviours. There are significant advantages to be gained, by us coming together as a group, to discuss issues of mutual interest.” 

Dr Lawrence is currently leading a ten-month CSO-funded investigation into how a mindfulness course, a form of meditation focused on being more aware of the present moment, may be adapted to help beat anxiety and depression in people who have had a stroke.

GCU researchers have also 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) was 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 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.

The colloquium will take place on Thursday, June 1.

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