NEW ZEALAND STROKE EDUCATION
Charitable Trust (NZSET)
The number of stroke survivors in the world is growing and health resources for in-hospital and community rehabilitation are more and more limited. It is imperative to have easy-to-use, medically accurate and affordable stroke prevention and rehabilitation tools for caring and continuous stroke rehabilitation that can be used by stroke survivors and their caregivers at home and any other facilities. As far as we are aware, our stroke care and rehabilitation video materials are the only observational learning theory and best practice-based video materials currently available in the world.
We believe that these self-management materials could significantly improve stroke outcomes and should be used by stroke survivors as an adjunct to other educational materials under the direction of treating health professionals. In addition, our trust offers free information on stroke and stroke prevention, including the unique Framingham study-based stroke risk calculator for estimating stroke risk occurrence for people aged 54 to 85. Through effective stroke prevention and rehabilitation, we can reduce the stroke burden on the individual and community levels. Therefore, we encourage everybody who is at risk of having a stroke, suffers from stroke or is caring for someone who has a stroke, to use our educational materials as an additional tool to prevent stroke and/or improve recovery from stroke.
Although stroke is much easier to prevent than treat, currently available cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment algorithms allow calculation of absolute risk of CVD (including stroke) but they are designed for use by health professionals and require lab test to complete. Yet, one of the main challenges in effective stroke prevention on an individual level is the lack of awareness about stroke symptoms and risk factors as well as self-managing strategies to reduce their risk of stroke.
The question is how to improve stroke prevention in individuals with an increased CVD risk in the most efficient way? National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences, AUT University and New Zealand Stroke Education Charitable Trust recently developed an App called Stroke Riskometer that has the potential to significantly improve stroke prevention on an individual level. Based on the Framingham Heart study stroke prediction algorithm and enhanced to include seven additional major risk factors important for stroke (diet, physical activity, waist-to-hip ratio, alcohol, psychosocial stress, family history of stroke or heart attack, race/ethnicity), this user-friendly Stroke Riskometer is able to provide an estimate of the individual’s absolute risk of stroke within the next 5 and 10 years for anyone from the age of 20 up to 90+ years old. Importantly, the Stroke Riskometer user can find out not only their risk of stroke development but also a baseline risk to compare their risk against, thus allowing them to know their risk of stroke compared with someone of their age and sex who has no risk factors.
It is our belief that, together with other health professional organisations and societies (including stroke and cardiovascular disease societies/associations/foundations), we can make a difference and reduce stroke burden in the world. As a New Zealand based charitable trust, we also welcome any donations to further advance stroke prevention and recovery in New Zealand and internationally.
We would appreciate your comments on the website and the stroke rehabilitation and audiovisual coping strategies offered (comments can be made directly on the website page “Contact”), and you could add our website link www.stroke-education.com to your personal and/or institutional website. On request, we would be happy to consider adding your relevant website to our “recommended links”.
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