…..is Changing Stroke’s project for 2014. Having a “project” is not something that CS has done before, so this is a first! Please note: there is nothing official about the Stroke FORM project. It is entirely voluntary, personal and “off the record”. You will never be asked to sign up to anything or to send in any documentation.
Stroke FORM! FORM is an acronym for Functional Outcomes Routinely Measured.
If I had a stroke that, for the sake of a story to follow, had adversely affected the function of my upper limb (UL), I’d want to know what my function was in the first few days and what it was at…say, 6 weeks, and then at recovery stages from that point on.
If I was a clinician involved in that recovery continuum of care, I’d also want some measures on which to base my therapeutic intervention. Surely this is achievable! We don’t need to measure everything, but we should be measuring something! IF no recovery outcomes are measured and documented………
- In the first few days post-stroke, this “baseline” opportunity is lost forever!
- There is nothing to forward on to clinicians further “down the line” and the purpose of measuring recovery starts to lose it’s significance!
- There is nothing to give to the stroke survivor and their family. To keep them “in the dark” cannot be reconciled with a client-centered approach.
The overarching aim of the Stroke FORM project is to support and encourage clinicians to routinely measure functional recovery. If you’d like to be part of this project, you’re agreeing, albeit unofficially, to being an active link in the Stroke FORM chain. Where possible, you’ll aim to ensure that post-stroke recovery is measured and recorded:
- In the first few days (baseline) post-event
- Routinely across the continuum of care (longitudinal)
- Using standardised assessments and protocols
- In a format that’s accessible to the stroke survivor and their family
In Australia, every mother of every newborn baby is given a very recognisable blue folder which records details about the baby’s birth etc. From that point on, the folder stays with the mother and baby. This makes very good sense as they are the key stakeholders. This blue folder contains an ongoing record of the baby’s weight and height, his/her inoculations, health events and so on. Most mothers take this folder to every health visit, irrespective of which clinician and/or facility they visit. I’d like to suggest we do the very same thing for every person diagnosed with stroke!
Would you like to participate in Stroke FORM: Phase 1? If your answer is yes, then that is great news indeed! Phase 1 is about documenting your answers to the following questions:
- What do I measure and how, why and when does this occur?
- Do I use a standardised assessment and if not, is there one I could use?
- Do I forward the results on to others and if not, why not?
- Do I record the results for the stroke survivor and their family and if not, why not?
Here is a template to get you started: Changing Stroke FORM Phase 1
Please note: there is nothing official about the Stroke FORM project. It is entirely voluntary, personal and “off the record”. You will never be asked to sign up to anything or to send in any documentation.