Principle Investigator: Julia Clifford Specialist Occupational Therapist

Contact details: email: juliaclifford@nhs.net tel.no. 0114 3078320

Introduction: Recent research shows that weight-gain is a problem for some people after stroke.  This project considered how to improve weight management services for stroke survivors in Sheffield.  The aim was to identify interventions, actions or products that could improve current provision and patient experience.

Method: The various groups involved were stroke survivors and carers; staff from the stroke pathway; and public and third sector service providers.  Firstly, we met to discuss the current stroke services and develop a map of weight management stroke service.  Secondly, co-production took place.  Two workshops were held to collaboratively generate ideas for services and resources.

Outcome:  In the consultation, people identified several areas for development.  Staff and stroke survivors wanted more accessible resources to help stroke survivors access weight management information.  They expressed a need for education on diet and weight management.  Staff said that training was needed to build their own confidence and skills in addressing weight management.  Specific areas for training were: nutrition, facilitation of behaviour change, and understanding stroke impact for staff not trained in stroke care.  Staff also reported that increased knowledge of current services would help them signpost patients more appropriately and wanted clear ways to refer stroke survivors for services.

In the co-production, these ideas for changes in service delivery were discussed.  This included longer-term services for post-stroke lifestyle.  Health trainers, and the voluntary sector support services could be sources of this service provision.  More information could be in the form of a ‘cook book’ containing advice, recipes, and educational material for stroke survivors and their carers.  A lifestyle questionnaire, based on Motivational Interviewing principles, might support staff and stroke survivors in identifying goals and facilitating lifestyle changes.  Dietetic input for weight-gain on the stroke pathway was also an idea.

Further work/project development: This consultation generated ideas about future stroke service development for managing weight after stroke.  A strategy to address the training needs of staff across services is recommended.  More work on developing accessible weight management resources using the principles of co-design is also identified. We are seeking funding to develop resources and evaluate their impact.

The Full report is available here