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Coach could be key in helping stroke patients
Date:8/7/2012

e selected for coach calls and the remaining patients served as a control group and did not receive coaching.

Prior to discharge, the coach reviewed a packet of information with each patient and their caregiver. The information included: specifics about when to call 911 or their physician and/or pharmacist; lifestyle suggestions to prevent stroke; a checklist of the individual patient's risk factors with additional information about each; and a list of their current medications, what they treat and the dosage.

Within two weeks of discharge, each of the 20 study participants received a call from the medication coach who provided general information about stroke and the importance of preventing another stroke, how to mitigate their individual stroke risk factors and the importance of taking their prescribed medications. The medication coach assessed each participant's understanding of their discharge orders by reviewing each stroke prevention medication on the participant's discharge list, asking whether each was still taking the medication, and if not, why. The coach also determined whether the participant understood the purpose of each medication, asking how to take it, refill it, and to identify its side effects. In closing the call, the coach asked participants if they had any specific questions about their medications or stroke recovery.

Following each call, the coach forwarded medication-related questions to a pharmacist and stroke-related questions to a stroke nurse, compiled their responses and called the participant back with the information. These responses were also summarized and sent to the participant's primary care provider. Finally, the coach summarized any lengthy answers, writing at a 7th grade level, and sent them to each participant in a follow-up letter.

At the end of three months, an interviewer contacted all study subjects to hear how participants had fared. Overall, researchers found very little difference
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Contact: Paula Faria
pfaria@wakehealth.edu
336-716-1279
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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