New website will support treatment, interventions and rehabilitation for stroke patients

30 November 2011

New website will support treatment, interventions and rehabilitation for stroke patients

GCU’s Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP) has launched the world’s first one-stop research website to help health professionals improve rehabilitation, interventions and treatment for stroke patients.

The Database of Research in Stroke (DORIS) was unveiled at the sixth UK Stroke Forum Conference.

The free, easy-to-use website provides health professionals with the latest clinically relevant evidence from across the world at the touch of a button, meaning it now takes just seconds to home in on specific areas of concern to a patient, and gain access to the most up-to-date information and treatment options.

As well as including the UK and Scottish guidelines for the treatment and rehabilitation of stroke patients, DORIS (www.askdoris.org) is the first online resource to categorise each individual recommendation in the guidelines according to a specific problem after stroke and intervention/treatment. This allows health professionals to see and compare information from different sources at the same time without having to search multiple sites and resources.

DORIS is the brainchild of Dr Alex Pollock, Research Fellow at the NMAHP Research Unit at GCU. She said: “While there are lots of sources of information on best treatments, national guidelines and ongoing research, these have previously been disparate. This has made it a difficult and time-consuming process to get hold of all the relevant information. It struck me that having it all in one place would be a great improvement for busy health professionals.

“For example, the international Cochrane Collaboration’s Stroke Editorial Group in Edinburgh has a database of every stroke trial in the world but much of that information was not in the public domain. I have been working with them to make that information freely accessible to all.”

DORIS also makes it easier for health professionals to cross-reference different impairments caused by stroke, such as communication problems and depression, to see the latest advances in medical research and care for both conditions affecting one patient.

Funded by the Scottish Government’s National Advisory Committee for Stroke, DORIS also identifies priority areas for future research and is constantly updated.

The research team has also worked with the James Lind Alliance to find out the research priorities of stroke survivors, carers and health professionals from across Scotland.

After gathering information from stroke groups in every mainland NHS Scotland area, researchers and stroke survivors, carers and health professionals agreed their shared top 10 research priorities.

Dr Pollock said: “The study clearly identifies the areas for future research which are most important to the people affected by stroke and will hopefully encourage researchers and funders to focus on research that matters, making sure that limited research funding and time is used most effectively and ethically.

“I believe that DORIS is the most comprehensive resource of its type in the world.”

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