A survey to explore what information, advice and support community-dwelling people with stroke currently receive to manage instability and falls

2017-09-14T06:13:02Z (GMT) by Eleanor Shovlin Dorit Kunkel
<p><b>Purpose:</b> To describe and determine the benefits of the information and support services currently offered to people with stroke experiencing instability and falls.</p> <p><b>Methods:</b> A cross-sectional survey study. Two hundred and fifty-six surveys were sent out to community stroke groups in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, as well as to people with stroke on a patient register.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> One hundred and twenty-five surveys were returned. A total of 107 participants (86%) reported instability and 62 (50%) had experienced a fall in the preceding year; 29 (28%) had reportedly received information on falls prevention. Forty-four participants (43%) sought help from health professionals following instability and falls; just over half reported that the information they received was useful. One quarter (<i>n</i> = 11) of those seeking help were referred on to falls clinics; all attended and 86% felt attending had been beneficial. However, only one participant was followed up by these clinics.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> Findings suggest that the majority of people with stroke who have experienced instability and falls did not receive any information and support, with very few referred on to falls clinics. Health professionals play a key role in information provision and facilitating access to falls prevention programs. Further research is required to determine the most effective ways to implement current guidelines to manage instability and falls in this high-risk group.Implications for rehabilitation:</p><p>Many community-dwelling people with stroke did not receive any information, help or support after experiencing instability and falls.</p><p>Clinicians must stress that falls are a complication, not an expectation, post-stroke.</p><p>Information on falls prevention and available support services should be offered to individuals prior to discharge from hospital, in GP practices and in rehabilitation settings.</p><p>All individuals with stroke seeking health professional help following instability and falls should be referred on to falls clinics for individualized multifactorial assessment and intervention to comply with current guidelines</p><p></p> <p>Many community-dwelling people with stroke did not receive any information, help or support after experiencing instability and falls.</p> <p>Clinicians must stress that falls are a complication, not an expectation, post-stroke.</p> <p>Information on falls prevention and available support services should be offered to individuals prior to discharge from hospital, in GP practices and in rehabilitation settings.</p> <p>All individuals with stroke seeking health professional help following instability and falls should be referred on to falls clinics for individualized multifactorial assessment and intervention to comply with current guidelines</p>