A RCSI School of Population Health study has found that future developments to Irish stroke services, must prioritise specialist community-based rehabilitation, ongoing support for life after stroke and better information and support for navigating services.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, featured the opinions of those directly affected by stroke; including survivors, their family carers and healthcare professionals.
As well as the three main priorities identified, the need for improved staffing was emphasised, along with access to specialist acute care and support for mental health. Stroke survivors and carers also thought that there needed to be more attention paid to improving the speed of access to services for people with more unusual or atypical stroke symptoms.
“These findings point to a need for stroke services that are more consistent nationally and better resourced based on an understanding of the diverse needs of stroke survivors and their families,” said Dr Eithne Sexton, Lecturer, RCSI School of Population Health and research lead. “This type of population-based service planning a key part of the Sláintecare strategy.
“We hope this study can contribute to the broader discussion on stroke care, informing policy and practice not only in Ireland but other countries with similar healthcare challenges.”
The study was carried out in collaboration with The Irish Heart Foundation and researchers from UCC and Beaumont Hospital. It was funded by the Health Research Board.