What is it about?

Stroke policy in the UK recommends reviewing patients at six-months post-stroke to identify unmet needs but lacks evidence of effectiveness. This study explored what needs patients, carers and clinicians identified and if/how they were addressed by the six-month review (6MR). This is compared to policy aspirations for the review and provides recommendations to develop the review.

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Why is it important?

Instigating the review costs time and money yet it has been enshrined in clinical guidelines/national policy without evidence of effectiveness. Our study is unique in that it a) evaluates the review from the perspective of all stakeholders b) questions the pervasive view that all stroke survivors have unmet needs and that the review can ameliorate them c) analyses the data against policy aspirations


I hope that those involved in stroke care question the review and consider alternatives to delivery. I found it fascinating how policy aspirations became assumptions of the ability to deliver concrete outcomes. The Stroke Association have a rigid policy of delivering reviews at 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year, in-line with policy (and SSNAP data, for those of you working in the UK) - even though it is clear that patients/carers did not find this helpful. The paradox of policy driven versus client centred is striking.

Dr Vanessa Abrahamson
University of Kent

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: How unmet are unmet needs post-stroke? A policy analysis of the six-month review, BMC Health Services Research, July 2019, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1186/s12913-019-4210-2.
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