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New research highlights importance of stroke tests

New research highlights importance of stroke tests
26th January 2016


A tool used to assess the level of damage done to the brain after a stroke is incredibly valuable, new research has suggested.

The findings, published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, looked at the efficiency of the ‘Patient-Reported Evaluation of Cognitive State’ (PRECiS), a 27-item questionnaire that aims to identify the cognitive problems of stroke survivors and is used to help measure progress that is made during rehabilitation.

Dr Emma Patchick, lead author of the study, said people who survive a stroke often have very different experiences of the impact of cognitive difficulties, depending on their life situation.

PRECiS was originally designed to help assess clinical trials but has since been influenced by people who have experienced a stroke and now acts as a therapeutic tool, which is effective and reliable, according to the research.

Dr Patchick said including patients' perspectives is important for understanding if a treatment has been effective, and PRECiS provides a way to measure this in cognitive rehabilitation. 

When someone suffers a stroke, it's likely that they will experience problems with thinking and understanding, which can mean they have difficulties with their memory, attention, speech and many other areas of everyday life.

These cognitive impairments can also have an impact on a person's confidence and ability to recover from their trauma. However, there are limited tools that can help them in this area, but the new study suggests PRECiS could be an effective resource.

"It asks not just whether you have a cognitive problem, but whether that problem is bothering you and affecting your life," Dr Patchick explained.

She said the study shows some positive findings for how PRECiS can be used to measure these skills and indicates a number of "exciting future avenues to explore". However, she added that there is more research needed to better understand how it works for different people, as well as its clinical value.

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