News Release 

COMPASS study site shares post-stroke care findings with patients, caregivers, clinicians

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

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IMAGE: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center patient, Ray Anthony Pressley, undergoes a neurological exam, as part of a comprehensive post-stroke assessment performed by COMPASS Advanced Practice Provider, Delores Johnson, NP. view more 

Credit: Wake Fores Baptist Health

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Aug. 8, 2019 - You've lost count of the sleepless nights spent in a hospital, but now your loved one is finally ready to go home following a stroke. Are you prepared to care for them?

If you are like most people, you may know how to spot a stroke, but you don't know the first thing about what to do to help your loved one recover from one.

Post-stroke recovery is exactly what the COMprehensive Post-Acute Stroke Services (COMPASS) study, led by Wake Forest Baptist Health, is all about. It compares the health status of stroke patients who receive conventional post-hospitalization treatment to that of patients who receive comprehensive care based on a model developed by a team of physicians, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, health system and human services leaders, and patient and caregiver stakeholders. Over 10,000 patients from across North Carolina have been enrolled in the study.

And now, the numerous insights and resources gained during the study by health care providers, stroke survivors, and their caregivers are available to anyone online through the COMPASS study website: http://www.nccompass-study.org.

"There is so much we have learned about stroke after someone is discharged to their community," said Pamela Duncan, Ph.D., professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Health and Principal Investigator of the study. "We have heard from paramedics, nurse navigators, family medicine providers, stroke patients themselves and others."

COMPASS Co-Principal Investigator, Wayne D. Rosamond, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill added, "These voices and insights are invaluable when it comes to understanding both the difficulties and barriers faced by these patients as well as the successful care models that improve their outcomes."

All of this information has been consolidated on the COMPASS website for free, unrestricted use, from advice on how to prevent a stroke to recommendations on how patients can find their way forward to recovery, independence, and good health. The website also houses a comprehensive community resource directory built to support patients, caregivers, and health and human services teams. Website visitors will find a library of webinars and training modules related to post-stroke care.

This extensive work is also being incorporated into the Post-Stroke Care Section of the North Carolina Stroke Care Plan, which is under development by the Stroke Advisory Council. The Council includes clinicians, health and human service providers, stroke survivors, caregivers, and other key stakeholders who provide guidance for stroke prevention, acute care, and post-acute care.

Sylvia Coleman, director of implementation for the COMPASS study, serves as chair of the Plan Development Team. "Our team is thrilled to share widely, via the website, a composite of lessons learned and recommendations from the COMPASS study work to date. We believe this will be helpful to others going forward."

This effort is the result of a massive collaboration among stroke researchers, health care providers, nearly half of North Carolina's hospitals, health and human services teams and local, regional and state-level partners including Area Agencies on Aging; American Heart Association/American Stroke Association; North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health, Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health Branch, as well as members of the North Carolina Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force and its Stroke Advisory Council; Community Care of North Carolina Pharmacy Network; Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) and home health and outpatient rehabilitation providers.

Funding for the COMPASS study was made possible thanks to a $14 million, five-year award from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) - an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress to fund research that provides patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information they need to make better-informed health care decisions. The award was approved in 2015.

For more information about COMPASS, or to get in contact with any of the organizations involved, go to http://www.nccompass-study.org.

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