Meeting unmet needs following minor stroke: the SUN randomised controlled trial protocol
Emma Finch, Michele Foster, Tegan Cruwys, Jennifer Fleming, Philip Aitken, Katherine Jaques, Ian Williams & Darshan Shah
Background: Whilst there are comprehensive guidelines for the rehabilitation of people with severe impairments from stroke, there has been less attention on the health and rehabilitation needs of people with minor stroke. Our study will assess whether a new multi-component service pathway using an integrated model based around primary care will reduce unmet need following minor stroke compared with usual care 1 and 3 months post-hospital discharge.
Methods: One hundred ten patients with minor stroke will be recruited within a parallel, randomised controlled trial design comparing a new service pathway and usual care.
The new service pathway will comprise a self-management kit, customised General Practitioner checklist, and a series of minor stroke educational topics. Participants will complete assessments pre-hospital discharge and 1 and 3 months later. The primary outcome measure will be the Survey of Unmet Needs and Service Usage. Secondary outcome measures will include assessments of ability, adjustment and participation; social group connectedness; return to work; health-related quality of life; and perceptions of the new service pathway (intervention group only). Mixed model repeated measures will be used to analyse within and between group differences at each time point. Return to work will be analysed using Chi square tests. Perceptions of the new service pathway will be analysed qualitatively.
Dissemination of results: The project will produce an evidence-based, multicomponent service pathway for minor stroke patients, applicable to other health services nationally and internationally. Dissemination will include publications and presentations.