Stroke survivors often have other medical conditions (multimorbidity). Management of multiple conditions can be challenging to manage for the health and social care systems, and stroke survivors and their families. There can be a lack of effective coordination of the treatment and care for the various conditions. There is more and more clinical and research data available, and this data could potentially be used more effectively to improve the long-term management of stroke.
One approach to this is using a ‘learning health system (LHS)’. In an LHS, data is routinely collected, anonymised, and used to inform interventions (e.g. in stroke care). Subsequent data capture (e.g. on how patients respond to the stroke care) is used to improve those interventions.
Researchers at King’s College London wanted to generate ideas for using clinical and research data to help develop interventions for better long-term stroke management, by speaking with various stakeholders (a method they call ‘co-production’): stroke survivors, health and social care professionals, and others involved in designing and delivering stroke care. Over 10 months, researchers led meetings, focus groups and individual interviews with these stakeholders.
Stakeholders had many ideas about how data and information could be used to improve long-term stroke care. They prioritised four main ideas: 1) improving continuity of care; 2) improving management of mental health consequences; 3) better access to health and social care; and 4) targeting multiple risk factors. Based on these priorities and other studies, the researchers developed some potential interventions. One that seemed promising to the stakeholders is a decision support tool to improve secondary prevention after stroke. Work on the tool is ongoing.
This post is based on a peer-reviewed journal article which discusses the LHS project as well as the process of ‘co-production’, The article was published in PLOSOne in 2017 as: Shaping innovations in long-term care for stroke survivors with multimorbidity through stakeholder engagement. Authors: Euan Sadler, Talya Porat, Iain Marshall, Uy Hoang, Vasa Curcin, Charles D. A. Wolfe, Christopher McKevitt. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177102 (opens in new window/tab)