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Open Access Study protocol

Psychosocial Outcomes in StrokE: the POISE observational stroke study protocol

Maree L Hackett1*, Nick Glozier2, Stephen Jan3 and Richard Lindley4

Author Affiliations

1 Neurological and Mental Health Division, The George Institute for International Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

2 Psychological Medicine, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

3 Renal Division, The George Institute for International Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

4 Discipline of Medicine, Western Clinical School, The University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia

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BMC Neurology 2009, 9:24  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-9-24

Published: 12 June 2009

Abstract

Background

Each year, approximately 12,000 Australians of working age survive a stroke. As a group, younger stroke survivors have less physical impairment and lower mortality after stroke compared with older survivors; however, the psychosocial and economic consequences are potentially substantial. Most of these younger stroke survivors have responsibility for generating an income or providing family care and indicate that their primary objective is to return to work. However, effective vocational rehabilitation strategies to increase the proportion of younger stroke survivors able to return to work, and information on the key target areas for those strategies, are currently lacking.

Methods/Design

This multi-centre, three year cohort study will recruit a representative sample of younger (< 65 years) stroke survivors to determine the modifiable predictors of subsequent return to work. Participants will be recruited from the New South Wales Stroke Services (SSNSW) network, the only well established and cohesively operating and managed, network of acute stroke units in Australia. It is based within the Greater Metropolitan area of Sydney including Wollongong and Newcastle, and extends to rural areas including Wagga Wagga. The study registration number is ACTRN12608000459325.

Discussion

The study is designed to identify targets for rehabilitation-, social- and medical-intervention strategies that promote and maintain healthy ageing in people with cardiovascular and mental health conditions, two of the seven Australian national health priority areas. This will rectify the paucity of information internationally around optimal clinical practice and social policy in this area.