Stroke can be devastating. Whilst physical impairment after a stroke may be easily seen and diagnosed, the psychological effects of stroke often remain hidden, may go unrecognised by some healthcare professionals, with the true impact remaining unknown.
The Stroke Association held this workshop on Wednesday 10 September 2014 to set the priorities for research into the psychological consequences of stroke in the UK.
We got together some of the top researchers in the field with people who had experienced psychological problems after their stroke, their families/carers, health care professionals and research staff from the Stroke Association.
Dr Audrey Bowen chaired the meeting, which opened with an introduction of the Stroke Association’s strategy and new Priority Programme Awards, It was followed by an overview of the needs and issues involved with delivering psychological support following stroke, presented by Dr Rachel Simkiss, a consultant Clinical Psychologist at Barts Health NHS Trust. She focused on the Stepped Care Model in place at Barts, which seeks to treat service users at the lowest appropriate service tier in the first instance, and 'stepping up' to intensive/specialist services as clinically required.
Her presentation was followed by Dr Viki Teggart, Clinical Neuropsychologist, at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. Dr Teggart gave us an overview of what we still need to know and do to improve everyday practice to address cognitive issues following stroke.
These presentations highlighted the main research gaps and questions for those researchers investigating the psychological consequences of stroke. Additionally, a ‘Research Priorities Report’ developed by experts in the field was distributed to the delegates prior to the meeting. This report was summarised from a detailed ‘State of Play’ review and outlined the main research priorities, questions and unknowns in the field.
A Q&A session followed which led to an in-depth and diverse discussion of the various issues around the psychological consequences of stroke, from both the professional and patient perspective.
In the afternoon, delegates continued to discuss and agreed on their main priorities for research into this field. Finally, each delegate placed a vote for their top 3 priorities.
These priorities were published Friday 26 September 2014 upon the launch of our new Priority Programme Awards in stroke research.
Our Priority Programme Awards are an invitation for researchers to apply for funding with research proposals that aim to answer some of the key questions and priorities that we established during the workshop on 10 September.