Stroke therapy to be investigated in new study of 160,000 records
- Around 1.2million people in the UK are classed as stroke survivors
- Therapy is one of the most important ways of helping these people regain their quality
- At the end of the two-year study a series of detailed recommendations will be issued
Researchers at The University of Manchester are to investigate 160,000 patient records to identify issues affecting the quality of stroke therapy in England.
Around 1.2million people in the UK are classed as stroke survivors with around 150,000 new incidences of stroke each year. Although three quarters of people survive their stroke, many are left with problems which impact on their quality of life.
Therapy is one of the most important ways of helping these people regain their quality of life but in England most people do not seem to achieve the recommended 45 minutes a day of therapy.
The University of Manchester research team working with colleagues from King’s College London, funded by the NIHR HS&DR Programme, will use the records from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP), a database of which tracks patients’ progress from the first ambulance call to six months after their discharge from hospital. The research team will use the most recent available 160,000 records stemming back to 2013.
Professor of Rehabilitation, Sarah Tyson, is leading the research. She said: “SSNAP is the first database of its kind anywhere in the world and access to it means we can find underlying reasons for any variations in the quality of stroke care and propose cost-effective ways of doing something about it.”
This important information is needed to make sensible, evidence-based decisions about how to improve therapy services so that as many stroke survivors as possible, get as much therapy as possible and make as much recovery as possible
Therapy covers a diverse range of activities designed to help people regain their independence after a stroke. Issues that therapy tackles include speech and mobility problems and regaining ‘thinking skills’ which let patients return to work, or resume their previous lives as much as possible. Early intervention is important to the success of this therapy as is ongoing support for the patient once they have been discharged back into the community.
In the study which is funded with £221,446, various factors such as the type and amount of therapy received, how services are organised and what the outcomes for patients are, will all be analysed and at the end of the two-year study a series of detailed recommendations will be issued.
Professor Tyson added: “The raw data from SSNAP gives a value description of how stroke services are delivered but it does not explain how factors are inter-linked; why therapy does (or does not) happen; how much therapy services cost, nor which are the most effective ways of organising therapy services in terms of maximising therapy, recovery or value for money. We will work this out.
“This important information is needed to make sensible, evidence-based decisions about how to improve therapy services so that as many stroke survivors as possible, get as much therapy as possible and make as much recovery as possible.”