Published: Thursday 2 March 2017

The International Stroke Conference (ISC) is the world's largest meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of stroke and its effects. This year it took place in Houston, Texas.

What did we learn?

Members of the ISC Programme Committee got together to discuss what we can learn from this year's conference in terms of the compelling research presented and what this means for the future, including changes in clinical care.

The HeadPoST trial

The HeadPoST trial looked at whether the positioning of stroke patients in bed would have an effect on their outcomes after stroke. People with strokes caused by a clot (ischaemic) and a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain (intercerebral haemorrhage) were involved in the study.

The trial looked at positioning the head flat on a bed versus on a 30-degree incline and found that the head position made no difference. While the results were neutral, this was the largest nurse-driven trial to date and can inform clinical practice.

To find out more about this trial, visit the HeadPoST website.

Stroke Association Fellow presents Early Supported Discharge research

Dr Rebecca Fisher, University of Nottingham, presented what lessons can be learned from the implementation of Early Supported Discharge (ESD) in the UK, a research area she is pursuing through her Stroke Association HRH The Princess Margaret Senior Lectureship Award.

Dr Fisher cautioned that context, MDT (multidisciplinary team) collaboration, and working across boundaries is important in ESD, and shared how an NHS audit of ESD improved uptake of evidence and patient-reported outcomes.

Image: @BelsonSarah

International development take homes from ISC 2017

Sarah Belson is the International Development Manager at the World Stroke Organisation (WSO) and the Stroke Association UK. She shares her take-homes from the international development work shared at this year’s conference.

"Presented by Dr Salvador Cruz-Flores, the session about the 2015 'Declaration of Santiago: A Road Map to Improve Stroke Care in Latin America' gave an insight into initiatives that are taking place at a continental level. There was a recognition that such regional level initiatives must be taken to the grassroots level but that this is difficult in countries where health systems are weak. In the discussion, stroke support organisations were promoted as potential contributors to achieving the road map.

"I was excited to hear that although the ATTEND intervention of hospital and home training of family-led rehabilitation in India did not decrease death or disability at six months on the MRS (Modified Rankin Scale, measuring functional independence), there is ongoing work looking at what went wrong with the trial.

"Having seen some of the reality of long-term stroke care during my visit to the World Stroke Congress in India last October, I was also really pleased to hear from Dr Jeyaraj Pandian about the training of accredited social health activists to identify stroke patients in Ludhiana, India."

Further information

Please email for further information about our international development work and practical guidance on setting up and growing a Stroke Support Organisation.

You can also follow Sarah on Twitter: @BelsonSarah

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