The Stroke Priority Setting Partnership worked with over 1,400 people affected by stroke and care professionals to establish priority areas for research across the stroke care pathway.  

Research can help save and rebuild more lives after stroke by driving improvements in treatment and care. But only £25 per stroke survivor is dedicated to research in a year. This compares to £161 per person living with cancer.

In order to address these priority areas and improve the lives of people affected by stroke, investment in stroke research must significantly increase. 

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Read the key findings

Researchers may be able to apply for funding from the Health Technology Assessment Programme to address priority areas identified in the Stroke PSP. Find out more on the National Institute of Health Research website.

Priority areas for stroke research

There are two lists of priority areas:  

Priority 1: Stroke prevention, diagnosis, pre-hospital and hospital care. 

This includes research to stop stroke happening for the first time, treat stroke caused by bleeding in the brain, and reduce complications of a stroke.  


Priority 2: Stroke rehabilitation and long-term care. 

This includes research to improve care for mental and emotional problems after stroke, stroke services in the community and understanding of the long-term impacts of stroke on everyday life.  

Research over the last two decades has identified treatments that prevent stroke and improve its outcome. But the number of people struck down by stroke is rising in the UK. [...] These lists of uncertainties are wish lists for people affected by stroke and to-do lists for funding agencies that want to improve outcomes and reduce the burden of stroke.
Professor Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, British Association of Stroke Physicians President (2019-2021) and Steering Group member.

Search the priorities

Cochrane Stroke have included uncertainties for future research identified by the JLA Stroke PSP within the DORIS database. This enables researchers and other stakeholders to run a topic search, then see what research uncertainties relate to the topic, as well as associated evidence.

To find Stroke PSP priorities that relate to a topic that interests you:

1.       Go to the DORIS website and log in (create a free login if you don’t already have one).

2.       Click on the orange ‘ask DORIS’ button.

3.       Put a search term in the text box. This might be a stroke-related problem/impairment (e.g. memory, walking, speech), or a treatment/intervention (e.g. occupational therapy, thrombolysis, or another keyword (e.g. family).  (You don’t need to add terms relating to stroke, as DORIS only contains research relating to stroke).

4.       Click on the orange ‘ask DORIS’ button.

5.       Select “Research priorities” from the left-hand Options menu, and then click the orange ‘ask DORIS’ button again.

6.       You will now see any of the evidence uncertainties which relate to your search term. If the uncertainty was ranked as one of the highest priority questions during the consensus meetings, this will be shown.

I had a stroke in 2005 at the age of 47. Soon after, I got involved in stroke research as I saw how important it is in driving improvements in treatment and care. Getting involved in the Stroke PSP was an obvious way for me to use my first-hand knowledge, understanding and experience of stroke to influence future research. It has allowed me to turn around a life-changing negative experience into a positive response that will benefit others.
Brin Helliwell, stroke survivor and Steering Group member

All submitted questions

Almost 4,000 questions about stroke from people affected and care professionals in stroke were submitted. Questions for research from existing guidelines were also included.

Some answered questions and those out of scope were removed. Questions were grouped and sorted.

You can see all of the questions submitted on the James Lind Alliance website.

The role of the Stroke Association

Our vision is for there to be fewer strokes, and for people affected by stroke to get the help they need to live the best life they can. Stroke research can help save and rebuild lives by driving improvements in treatment and care.

The Stroke Association worked with a process developed by the James Lind Alliance (JLA), a non-profit making initiative established in 2004. The JLA brings people affected by particular health conditions, the people who care for them, and health and social care professionals together to identify and prioritise unanswered questions for research. 

In order to address these priority areas and improve the lives of people affected by stroke, investment in stroke research must significantly increase.