Abstract WP328: A Nurse-Led Initiative Improves Adherence Rates for Stroke Follow-up and Blood Pressure Management
Background and Issues Aggressive management of vascular risk factors reduces stroke rates. It is unknown whether structured nurse-led follow up increases adherence rates for stroke patients after hospital discharge.
Purpose The purpose of this program is to improve secondary stroke risk factor management by instituting a nurse-led initiative called Stroke Therapy, Education, Prevention (STEP).
Methods The pilot STEP program was based on protocols used for other stroke prevention trials. This nurse-led program includes inpatient initiation and outpatient maintenance of pharmacologic and lifestyle goals for stroke patients.
Eligible patients have a non-disabling ischemic stroke or TIA and are without insurance restrictions and live within a distance allowing return to clinic for follow up.
Prior to discharge, the STEP nurse completes patient education, and reviews outpatient goals.
The STEP nurse makes phone contact with the patient 7-10 days after discharge to review medication compliance and reinforce education.
At 30 days post discharge patients are seen in clinic by the STEP nurse where a resting blood pressure (BP) is measured. If the patient does not meet targets (<140 SBP or <130 SBP for DM) medications are adjusted by a stroke neurologist.
We undertook a retrospective chart review of a consecutive cohort of patients matched to STEP eligibility criteria to determine whether the program improved retention rates and BP management. Chi-Square analysis was used to compare visit adherence and percentage achieving goal BPs at 30 days.
Results In the STEP group 25/32(78%) patients completed the 30 day follow up compared to 14/32 (44%) patients in the historical matched cohort (p=0.0048). Target BP was achieved in 13/25(52%) STEP patients and 5/14 (36%) matched cohort patients (p=0.32) returning to clinic. Overall, target BP was achieved in 13/32 (41%) and 5/32 (16%) respectively (p=0.026).
Conclusions In conclusion, follow up adherence and BP management in the group as a whole was better in the nurse-led model and is recommended for secondary stroke prevention. Long term follow up with this model may further increase in-target rates of BP control and other stroke risk factors.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.