Rothwell, K., Boaden, R., Bamford, David and Tyrrell, P. J. (2013) Feasibility of assessing the needs of stroke patients after six months using the GM-SAT. Clinical Rehabilitation, 27 (3). pp. 264-271. ISSN 0269-2155

Objective: To investigate the feasibility of administering the Greater Manchester Stroke Assessment Tool (GM-SAT), a structured evidence-based needs assessment tool, in a community setting and its acceptability to stroke patients and their carers.

Setting: Community stroke services.

Subjects: One hundred and thirty-seven stroke patients at six months post hospital discharge with no communication or cognitive difficulties residing in their own homes.

Intervention: Patients’ needs were assessed by information, advice and support (IAS) coordinators from the UK Stroke Association using the GM-SAT.

Main measures: Number and nature of unmet needs identified and actions required to address these; patient/carer feedback; and IAS coordinator feedback.

Results: The mean number of unmet needs identified was 3 (min 0, max 14; SD 2.5). The most frequently identified unmet needs related to fatigue (34.3%), memory, concentration and attention (25.5%), secondary prevention non-lifestyle (21.9%) and depression (19.0%). It was found that 50.4% of unmet needs could be addressed through the provision of information and advice. Patients/carers found the assessment process valuable and IAS coordinators found the GM-SAT easy to use.

Conclusions: Results demonstrate that the GM-SAT is feasible to administer in the community using IAS coordinators and is acceptable to patients and their carers, as well as staff undertaking the assessments. Further research is needed to determine whether the application of the GM-SAT at six months improves outcomes for patients.

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