Considerations and strategies for educating stroke patients with neurological deficits

Laura J. Griffin, Joanne V. Hickey


Objective: The objective of this article is to increase awareness and provide information for providers to guide educational strategies about potential obstacles encountered while educating patients with neurological deficits.

Background: Stroke is the third leading cause of death worldwide. Those who survive are often left with disabilities that decrease quality of life and increase a need for institutional care. One quarter of patients diagnosed with stroke annually have had a stroke previously. Identification of personal risk factors and learning methods for controlling them is the first steps in preventing recurrent stroke.

Conclusion: Educating patients about personal risk factors is not only a quality indicator for Joint Commission accredited stroke programs, but also education is associated with decreased readmission rates. However, the variety of neurological deficits seen in the stroke population can present a significant educational barrier.

Practice Implications: Understanding the complexity and impact of neurological deficits affecting patients who have suffered a stroke may provide improved secondary prevention efforts. Providers who are able to fully evaluate educational needs and use this knowledge to individualize stroke education are essential in improving stroke outcomes through risk factor management and early recognition of recurrent stroke.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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