Stroke Award funded by Brain Foundation Northwest Committee and Frank & Morphyn Young Estate
Improving psychosocial outcomes after stroke.
Dr Jonathan Sturm
Department of Neurology Gosford Hospital
Co-Investigators: Dr Maree Hackett, Associate Professor Greg Carter and Dr Denis Crimmins
Depression after stroke is common and is associated with poor quality of life. Effective strategies to prevent the development of depression after stroke may also reduce anxiety, increase participation in rehabilitation programmes, and improve physical function and quality of life. A cost effective, simple yet practical prevention strategy has been identified as a potentially suitable intervention. As the study is in progress and participants are not made aware of the nature of the intervention details of this intervention cannot be described in this report.
In two clinical trials this intervention was effective in reducing death by suicide in depressed psychiatric inpatients, and nearly halved repeat episodes of deliberate self poisoning following general hospital treatment. In this current pilot study we will recruit patients with stroke from Gosford Hospital and randomise them to either receive this intervention from their treating stroke unit doctors after stroke or to receive usual care. We will assess mood and quality of life at 6 months post-stroke. If the intervention shows evidence of effectiveness we will proceed with a large-scale multicentre trial.
This is a collaborative trial co-ordinated jointly by independent investigators at The George Institute for International Health (Dr Maree Hackett), Central Coast Stroke Services (Dr Jonathan Sturm, Dr Denis Crimmins), and The Department of Liaison-Psychiatry at Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, Brain and Mental Health Priority Research Centre, University of Newcastle (A/Prof Greg Carter). The 2008 Brain Foundation Grant will be invaluable in supporting the costs of running this study.