Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virtual visits shrink the distance in stroke rehab

Date:
June 7, 2010
Source:
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Summary:
Bringing stroke care to an area the size of France is a massive challenge -- especially when many communities lack year round road access. Does telemedicine hold the key to the rehabilitation of stroke patients in northern, rural, remote Canadian communities?

Telemedicine holds the key to the rehabilitation of people with stroke living in northern, rural, remote Canadian communities, rehabilitation researcher Esmι French told the Canadian Stroke Congress.

"Bringing stroke care to an area the size of France is a massive challenge -- especially when many communities lack year round road access," says French. "The unique conditions of northern communities require a unique response from the stroke rehabilitation community."

Those living in many northern communities -- which include many Aboriginal residents − have limited, if any, access to stroke rehabilitation, says French, who works at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and is a professional associate with the School of Rehabilitation Studies at McMaster University.

French and her colleagues, physiotherapist Kirsti Reinikka and Dr. Maria Huijbregts, tested the use of telemedicine applications to make consultations with rehabilitation providers available to stroke survivors in these remote areas.

Over a five month period, 10 video consultations took place between stroke survivors and an interdisciplinary team of rehab experts which included a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a speech-language pathologist, and a social worker.

The stroke survivors had been discharged from hospital to communities in Northwestern Ontario where access to rehabilitation is severely limited or altogether absent. "The video technology removes the distance barrier and provides a practical alternative when direct services are not available," says French. "The experience was rated good-to-excellent by both patients and rehabilitation therapists."

The healthcare, community, and telemedicine partnerships were critical to the success of the program.

"The innovative use of telemedicine technology can overcome geographic and human resource barriers restricting access to care by the Aboriginal community," says Canadian Stroke Network spokesperson Dr. Antoine Hakim. "This is especially important in a country as large and spread out as Canada, where the Aboriginal communities typically reside in more remote locations."

French points out that access to rehabilitation professionals is one piece in assuring that people in remote communities receive all aspects of care. "It's vital that community members have access to the full continuum of care, including screening, emergency care, and treatment," she says. "Look at what's possible by bringing a host of professionals to the community via telemedicine. We can take these learnings to other areas."

"This technological solution can play an important role in providing equal access to stroke care for all Canadians, regardless of where they live," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Michael Hill. "The ideal, of course, is to start even earlier by preventing strokes in the first place by raising awareness of risk factors."

Risk factors and the Aboriginal population:

  • Aboriginal people are twice as likely to die from stroke (71.5 per 100,000) than the general Canadian population (34.2 per 100,000);
  • Aboriginal people are more prone to obesity with a risk just over 1.5 times that of the general population; the overall proportion of First Nations people considered overweight or obese is more than 20 per cent higher than of Canadians overall; and
  • The rate of diabetes among Aboriginal people in Canada is three to five times that of the general population and there is a trend to early stage onset;

"First Nations, Inuit, and Mιtis people are at an even greater risk of heart disease and stroke than the general population," says Dr. Hill. "Decreasing the number of strokes that occur in Aboriginal communities requires culturally appropriate prevention strategies and novel healthcare solutions to improve outcomes in remote communities."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Virtual visits shrink the distance in stroke rehab." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607065605.htm>.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. (2010, June 7). Virtual visits shrink the distance in stroke rehab. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607065605.htm
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Virtual visits shrink the distance in stroke rehab." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607065605.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins