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Healthy living after stroke: An online secondary prevention program for stroke survivors

Dr Ashleigh Guillaumier, Institution: The University of Newcastle

2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2017-2022


Stroke is a major public health concern. One in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime. Almost half of stroke survivors have a recurrent stroke. Many of the risk factors for recurrent stroke are modifiable such as elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, poor diet and physical inactivity as well as psychosocial factors including depression and anxiety. The National Stroke Foundation (NSF) funded the development of an online “Prevent 2nd Stroke” program which aims to empower stroke survivors to improve their health risk behaviours and hence their quality of life, depression and anxiety, and independent living, while at the same time lowering their risk of recurrent stroke. The program uses evidence-based behaviour change strategies, cognitive behaviour therapy to address depression and anxiety, and guidelines for dysphasia-related communication. Stroke survivors have rated the program positively on useability and acceptability pilot testing. A rigorous evaluation incorporating a cost-effectiveness analysis is now needed. A randomised trial with a NSW based sample of stroke survivors recruited through the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry will be conducted to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the online Prevent 2nd Stroke program. Evaluation with a NSW-wide sample of stroke survivors enhances its generalizability, and if effective, the online program can be disseminated through NSF and other websites.

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