Have your say on a new stroke recovery group to improve quality of life

Sep 29 2020

Researchers at Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and the University of Newcastle are inviting people who have had a stroke, as well as past or present carers of someone who has had a stroke, to help design a long-term recovery group for stroke survivors.

Dr Heidi Janssen, University of Newcastle researcher and physiotherapist, who works for Hunter New England Health’s Hunter Stroke Service & Community Stroke Team, says the aim of the group is to help improve recovery and quality of life for people living with stroke.

Dr Janssen says most stroke survivors receive approximately 12 weeks of rehabilitation.

“Many survivors need more time and activities to increase their independence, and their confidence to return to the things they used to enjoy as well as to try new things for their health and wellbeing,” Dr Janssen said.

“Having a community-based group to help stroke survivors regularly exercise, socialise and do art-based thinking activities will help fill this gap in support,” she said.

“Engaging in these activities will help improve recovery from stroke, increasing the likelihood that people can return to the many of the activities and roles they had prior to their stroke.”

Dr Janssen and her research team want input from stroke survivors and their carers into the ultimate design of the group. She is holding 90-minute workshops in October and November to hear people’s ideas.

“We want to ensure the group meets the needs of stroke survivors and their carers.”

“People can come to HMRI for the workshop, be interviewed in person, or share their experiences and opinions virtually via videoconference.”

To register your interest for the workshop, call 4042 0417 or email Heidi.Janssen@health.nsw.gov.au

Dr Janssen is a former Hunter New England Health and NSW Health Clinical Research Fellow and won the HMRI 2019 Women in Medical Research fellowship. This is her fellowship project.

Around 56,000 Australians have a stroke each year; more than 100 every day. One third of strokes result in a disability. 

HMRI is a leading medical research institute for stroke and brain injury. Other research underway includes the Phase 3 clinical trial of ‘modafinil therapy’ in stroke survivors. The Enable study is testing exercise and diet programs for people who have had a stroke. To participate in HMRI’s many, current, research projects visit www.hmri.org.au/participate-research/stroke

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.