Residents of North Carolina are 20 to 40 percent more likely to die of stroke than those living in other parts of the country. While stroke awareness campaigns educate the public about symptoms and the importance of getting to a hospital quickly, patients and health care providers believe that what happens after stroke patients leave the hospital is just as important as how quickly they arrive. A new grant will help discover whether this is true.
[Photo: UNC’s Dr. Wayne Rosamond developed a network of hospitals that became the North Carolina Stroke Care Collaborative registry. These are the hospitals in which the new Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services (COMPASS) intervention will be tested.]
A $10 million, five-year grant from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) − a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization established through the Affordable Care Act and authorized by Congress – will study stroke patients across North Carolina to ascertain whether longer-term, post-stroke care improves daily function. A secondary goal is to measure and reduce the degree of caregiver stress.
This first statewide study of its kind and scope is being co-led by Dr. Wayne Rosamond, professor of epidemiology at The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Other lead researchers include principal investigator Dr. Pamela W. Duncan, professor of neurology and senior policy adviser for innovations and transitional outcomes at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and co-principal investigator Dr. Cheryl D. Bushnell, director of the Wake Forest Baptist Stroke Center.
Partnering in the statewide endeavor are 51 hospitals that are part of the North Carolina Stroke Care Collaborative registry. Also collaborating are faculty members from the East Carolina University School of Medicine’s Center for Health Disparities and the Duke University School of Nursing.
The five-year study, called COMPASS (Comprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services), will compare patients who receive existing stroke treatment as they are discharged home with patients who receive comprehensive stroke services once they return home.