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Fri, 10 May 2019

Stroke survey to assist survivors

Hospital beds
Image: Daan Stevens

A James Cook University researcher is looking at how people can be better helped after they have had a stroke – and wants stroke survivors to assist in the study.

JCU’s Nerida Firth is a pharmacist and PhD student investigating the use of medications that assist recovery after a stroke.

“Around 475,000 Australians are living with the effects of a stroke and this is predicted to increase to 1 million by the year 2050. Rehab after a stroke is a very long and hard process, but some medications might increase the rate or extent of recovery,” she said.

Ms Firth said around 30% of stroke survivors are of working age and 65% are affected by a disability which hinders their ability to carry out daily living activities.

“If the medications being investigated could speed up and shorten a person’s rehab, we hope that more stroke survivors could be independent, return to work, or continue to be involved in things that are important to them,” she said.

As part of her work, she wants to talk to people in northern Queensland who have had a stroke that has affected their arm or leg.

“By exploring how far stroke survivors are prepared to go with their rehab, what risks and inconveniences they will tolerate and what kind of outcome would justify the drawbacks, it will help researchers understand how we can design better rehabilitation programs.”

Ms Firth will be asking volunteers in a small group discussion what level of cost, risk and inconvenience people would put up with while in rehab, after a stroke has affected their arm or leg.

“It will be audiotaped, but this kind of academic research is governed by strict ethical standards and will always remain completely confidential,” she said.

The interviews will be held at James Cook University in Townsville or via videoconference if volunteers live in a rural or remote location.

“The overall idea is to make a better life for stroke survivors and I’m very much hoping people will put come forward and want to participate.”

If you want to be part of the study, please contact nerida.firth@my.jcu.edu.au


Nerida Firth
E: nerida.firth@my.jcu.edu.au