Alexandria Stroke Guidelines

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Alexandria Stroke Guidelines by Mind Map: Alexandria Stroke Guidelines

1. Pre-hospital care -

1.1. 3 - Pre-hospital care

1.1.1. Strong Recommendation

1.1.1.1. All stroke patients should be managed as a time critical emergency. The dispatch of ambulances to suspected stroke patients who may be eligible for reperfusion therapies requires the highest level of priority. Furthermore, the highest level of priority should also be provided when transporting suspected stroke patients to hospitals capable of offering reperfusion therapies within appropriate timeframes. (Berglund et al 2012[5])

1.1.1.2. a. Ambulance services should preferentially transfer suspected stroke patients to a hospital capable of delivering reperfusion therapiesas well as stroke unit care.(O'Brien et al 2012[13];De Luca et al 2009[11]; Quain2008[12]) b. Ambulance services should pre-notify the hospital of a suspected stroke case where the patient may be eligible forreperfusion therapies.(O'Brien et al 2012[13];De Luca et al 2009[11]; Quain2008[12])

1.1.2. Practice point

1.1.2.1. General practitioners are encouraged to educate reception staff in the FAST stroke recognition message and to redirect any calls about suspected acute stroke to 000.

2. Early assessment and diagnosis -

2.1. 4 - Transient ischaemic attack

2.1.1. Strong Recommendation

2.1.1.1. • All patients with suspected transient ischaemic attack (TIA i.e. focal neurological symptoms due to focal ischaemia that have fully resolved)should be assessed urgently. (Lavallee et al 2007[19]; Rothwell et al 2007[20]) • Patients with symptoms that are present or fuctuating at time of initial assessment should be treated as having stroke and be immediately referred for emergency department and stroke specialist assessment, investigation and reperfusion therapy where appropriate. (Lavallee et al 2007[19]; Rothwell et al 2007[20]) • In pre-hospital settings, high risk indicators (e.g. crescendo TIA, current or suspected AF, current use of anticoagulants, carotid stenosis or high ABCD2 score) can be used to identify patients for immediate specialist assessment. (Lavallee et al 2007[19]; Rothwell et al 2007[20])

2.1.1.2. When TIA patients present to primary care, the use of TIA electronic decision support, when available, is recommended to improve diagnostic and triage decisions. (Ranta et al 2015[9])

2.1.1.3. All TIA patients with anterior circulation symptoms should undergo urgent carotid imaging with CT angiography (aortic arch to cerebral vertex), carotid Doppler ultrasound or MR angiography. Carotid imaging should preferably be done during the initial assessment but should not be delayed more than 2 working days. (see Imaging)

2.1.1.4. Patients with suspected TIA should commence secondary prevention therapy immediately (see Secondary Prevention chapter).

2.1.1.5. • All patients with TIA should be investigated for atrial fbrillation with ECG during initial assessment and referred for possible prolonged cardiac monitoring as required (see Cardiac Investigations). • TIA patient with atrial fbrillation should commence anticoagulation therapy immediately after brain imaging has excluded haemorrhageunless contraindicated (see Anticoagulation in Secondary Prevention chapter).

2.1.2. Weak Recommendation

2.1.2.1. In TIA patients, use of the ABCD2 risk score in isolation to determine the urgency of investigation may delay recognition of atrial fbrillation and symptomatic carotid stenosis in some patients and should be avoided. (Wardlaw et al 2015[2]; Sanders et al 2012 [3]; Galvin et al 2011[4]; Merwick et al 2010 [18])

2.1.2.2. Patients with TIA should routinely undergo brain imaging to exclude stroke mimics and intracranial haemorrhage. MRI, when available, is recommended to improve diagnostic accuracy (see Imaging)

2.1.3. Practice Statement

2.1.3.1. Consensus-based recommendations • All patients and their family/carers should receive information about TIA, screening for diabetes, tailored advice on lifestyle modifcation strategies (smoking cessation, exercise, diabetes optimization if relevant - see Secondary prevention chapter), return to driving (see Return to driving in Community Participation and Long-term Care chapter) and the recognition of signs of stroke and when to seek emergency care. • All health services should develop and use a local TIA pathway covering primary care, emergency and stroke specialist teams to ensure patients with suspected TIA are managed as rapidly and comprehensively as possible within locally available resources.

2.2. 5 - Rapid assessment in the emergency department

2.2.1. Strong Recommendation

2.2.1.1. All suspected stroke patients who have been pre-notifed to the stroke or ED team, and who may be candidates for reperfusion therapy, should be met at arrival and assessed by the stroke team or other experienced personnel.(Meretoja et al 2012[34]; Meretoja et al 2013 [33])

2.2.2. Weak Recommendation

2.2.2.1. The use of clinical screening tools to identify stroke by emergency department staff are recommended where an expert stroke team is unable to immediately assess a patient.(Jiang et al 2014[27]; Whiteley et al 2011[28])

2.2.3. Practice points

2.2.3.1. • Initial diagnosis should be reviewed by a clinician experienced in the evaluation of stroke. • Stroke severity should be assessed and recorded on admission by a trained clinician using a validated tool (e.g. NIHSS). • A blood glucose reading should be taken to improve specifcity (hypoglycemia can presentas a ‘stroke mimic’).

2.3. 6 - Imaging

2.3.1. 6.1- Brain imaging

2.3.1.1. Strong Recommendation

2.3.1.1.1. All patients with suspected stroke who are candidates for reperfusion therapies should undergo brain imaging immediately. All other suspected stroke patients should have an urgent brain CT or MRI (‘urgent’ being immediately where facilities are available and preferably within 60 minutes).(Brazzelli et al 2009[35])

2.3.1.1.2. If using CT to identify hyperdense thrombus, thin slice (<2mm) non-contrast CT should be used rather than the standard 5mm slices to improve diagnostic sensitivity for vessel occlusion (Mair et al 2015[41]).

2.3.1.2. Weak Recommendation

2.3.1.2.1. In patients with suspected stroke and TIA, MRI is more sensitive and specifc than non-contrast CT and is the preferred modality when diagnostic confrmation is required. (Brazzelli et al 2009[35])

2.3.1.2.2. CT perfusion imaging can be used in addition to routine imaging to improve diagnostic and prognostic accuracy (Biesbroek et al 2012).

2.3.1.2.3. The use of CT perfusion or MRI perfusion-diffusion imaging to identify patients who could beneft from reperfusion therapies beyond standard time windows is currently not recommended outside the context of research (Lansberg et al 2011[45]; Lansberg 2012[46]).

2.3.1.3. Practice Statement

2.3.1.3.1. Consensus-based recommendation Either CT or MRI are acceptable acute imaging options but these need to be immediately accessible to avoid delaying reperfusion therapies

2.3.1.4. Practice points

2.3.1.4.1. • If a patient with stroke develops neurological deterioration, urgent clinical assessment and further brain imaging (CT or MRI) should be considered. • Routinebrain imaging approximately 24 hours after reperfusion therapies have been administered is recommended to identify haemorrhagic transformation and delineate the extent of infarction, both of which are important when making decisions about antithombotic therapy and DVT prophylaxis

2.3.2. 6.2- Vascular imaging

2.3.2.1. Strong Recommendation

2.3.2.1.1. • All patients who would potentially be candidates for endovascular thrombectomy should have vascular imaging from aortic arch to cerebral vertex (CTA or MRA) to establish the presence of vascular occlusion as a target for thrombectomy and to assess proximal vascular access. (Goyal et al 2016[53]; Broderick et al 2013[66]) • All other patients with carotid territory symptoms who would potentially be candidates for carotid re-vascularisation should have urgent vascular imaging to identify stenosis in the ipsilateral carotid artery. CT angiography (if not already performed as part of assessment for reperfusion therapies), Doppler ultrasound or contrast-enhanced MR angiography are all reasonable options depending on local experience and availability. (Netuka et al 2016[36]; Chappell et al 2009[38]; Nonent et al 2011[39]; Anzidei et al2012[79])

2.3.2.2. Practice points

2.3.2.2.1. • In ischaemic stroke and TIA patients, routinely imaging the entire vasculature from aortic arch to cerebral vertex with CTA or MRA is encouraged to improve diagnosis, recognition of stroke aetiology and assessment ofprognosis. • The administration of intravenous iodinated contrast for CT angiography/perfusion, when clinically indicated, should not be delayed by concerns regarding renal function. Post-hydration with intravenous 0.9% saline is advisable. (RANZCR guidelines 2016 [73]; Ang et al 2015[72]).

2.3.2.2.2. Vascular imaging should not be performed for syncope or other non-focal neurological presentations.

2.3.3. 6.3 - Cardiac investigations

2.3.3.1. Strong Recommendation

2.3.3.1.1. For patients with embolic stroke of uncertain source, longer term ECG monitoring (external or implantable) should be used (Afzal et al 2015[76]; Kamel et al 2013[82]).

2.3.3.2. Weak Recommendation

2.3.3.2.1. Initial ECG monitoring should be undertaken for all patients with stroke. The duration and mode of monitoring should be guided by individual patient factors but would generally be recommended for at least the frst 24 hours. (Kurka et al 2015[75]; Lazzaro et al 2012 [83]; Douen et al 2008[84]; Gunalp et al 2006[85])

2.3.3.2.2. Further cardiac investigations should be performed where clarifcation of stroke aetiology is required after initial investigations. In patients with ischaemic stroke, echocardiography should be considered based on individual patient factors.Transoesophageal echocardiography is more sensitive for suspected valvular, left atrial and aortic arch pathology (Holmes et al 2014[77]).

3. Acute medical and surgical management

3.1. 4 - Stroke unit care

3.1.1. Strong Recommendation

3.1.1.1. All stroke patients should be admitted to hospital and be treated in a stroke unit with an interdisciplinary team. (SUTC 2013 [5])

3.1.1.2. All acute stroke services should implement standardised protocols to manage fever, glucose and swallowing diffculties in stroke patients. (Middleton et al 2011[139])

3.1.2. Practice points

3.1.2.1. • All stroke patientsshould be admitted directly to a stroke unit (preferably within three hours of stroke onset). • For patients with suspected stroke presentwho present to non-stroke unit hospitals, transfer protocols should be developed and used to guide urgent transfers to the nearest stroke unit hospital. • Where transfer is not feasible, smaller isolated hospitals should manage stroke services in a manner that adheres as closely as possible to the criteria for stroke unit care. Where possible, stroke patients should receive care in geographically discrete units.

3.2. 5 - Assessment for rehabilitation

3.2.1. Practice points

3.2.1.1. • Every stroke patient should have their rehabilitation needs assessed in the frst week of stroke by members of the multidisciplinary team, using the Assessment for Rehabilitation Tool (REF). • Any stroke patient with identifed rehabilitation needs should be referred to a rehabilitation service. • Rehabilitation service providers should document whether a stroke patient has rehabilitation needs and whether appropriate rehabilitation services are available to meet these needs.

3.3. 6 - Palliative care

3.3.1. Strong Recommendation

3.3.1.1. Stroke patients and their families/carers should have access to specialist palliative care teams as needed and receive care consistent with the principles and philosophies of palliative care. (Gade et al 2008 [28])

3.3.2. Practice Statement

3.3.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations 1. For patients with severe stroke who are deteriorating, aconsidered assessment of prognosis or imminent death should be made. 2. A pathway for stroke palliative care can be used to support stroke patients and their families/carers and improve care for people dying after stroke

3.4. 7.1 - Thrombolysis

3.4.1. Strong Recommendation

3.4.1.1. • For patients with potentially disabling ischaemic stroke who meetspecifc eligibility criteria, intravenous alteplase (dose of 0.9 mg/kg, maximum of 90 mg) should be administered. (Wardlaw 2014[39]; Emberson et al2014[40]) • Thrombolysis should commence as early as possible (within the frst few hours) after stroke onset but may be used up to 4.5 hours after onset.(Wardlaw 2014[39]; Anderson et al2016[42])

3.4.2. Practice points

3.4.2.1. Thrombolysis should be undertaken in a setting with appropriate infrastructure, facilities and network support (e.g. via telemedicine)including: • access to an interdisciplinary acute care team with expert knowledge of stroke management who are trained in delivery of thrombolysis and monitoring of patients receiving thrombolytic therapy • a streamlined acute stroke assessment workfow (including ambulance prenotifcation, code stroke team response and direct transport from triage to CT scan) to minimise treatment delays, and protocols available to guide medical, nursing and allied health acute phase management • immediate access to imaging facilities and staff trained to interpret images • routine data collected in a central register to allow monitoring, benchmarking and improvements of patient outcomes over time for those treated with reperfusion • Where possible the patient and caregivers should be involved in the decision to give thrombolysis. However, as an emergency therapy, formal consent for thrombolysis is not required.

3.5. 7.2 - Neurointervention

3.5.1. Strong Recommendation

3.5.1.1. For patients with ischaemic stroke caused by a large vessel occlusion in the internal carotid artery, proximal cerebral artery (M1 segment), or with tandem occlusion of both the cervical carotid and intracranial arteries, endovascular thrombectomy should be undertakenwhen the procedure can be commenced within six hours of stroke onset. (Goyal et al 2016[58])

3.5.1.2. Eligible stroke patients should receive intravenous alteplase while concurrently arrangingendovascular thrombectomy with neither treatment delaying the other. (Goyal et al 2016[58])

3.5.1.3. In selected stroke patients withocclusion of the basilar artery, endovascular thrombectomy should be undertaken. (Kumar et al 2015 [70]; Macleod et al 2005; Schonewille et al 2009[68])

3.5.2. Practice Statement

3.5.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations For stroke patients, endovascular thrombectomy may be considered in the following situations based on individual patient and advanced imagingfactors: • commencement of procedure beyond 6hours (but within 24 hours) from stroke onset • occlusion in more distal middle cerebralartery branches (M2 segment) Endovascular thrombectomy should be performed by an experienced neurointerventionist with recognised training in the procedure (Conjoint Committee for Recognition of Training in Interventional NeuroradiologyCCINR.org.au).

3.6. 8 - Antithrombotic therapy

3.6.1. Strong Recommendation

3.6.1.1. Patients with ischaemic stroke who are not receiving reperfusion therapy should receive antiplatelet therapy as soon as brain imaging has excluded haemorrhage. (Rothwell et al 2016[75]; Sandercock et al 2014[79])

3.6.2. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

3.6.2.1. Acute antiplatelet therapy should not be given within 24 hours of alteplase administration. (Zinkstok et al 2012[83])

3.6.2.2. Routine use of anticoagulation in patients without cardioembolism (e.g. atrial fbrillation) following TIA/stroke is not recommended. (Sandercock et al 2015[76]; Whiteley et al 2013[82])

3.6.2.3. Weak Recommendation

3.6.2.3.1. Aspirin plus clopidogrel may be used in the short term (frst three weeks) in high-risk patients with after minor ischaemicstroke or TIA to prevent stroke recurrence. (Wong et al 2013[81]; He et al 2015[77]; Yi et al 2014[78])

3.7. 9 - Acute blood pressure lowering therapy

3.7.1. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

3.7.1.1. Aggressive blood pressure lowering in the acute phase of care to a target SBP of <140mmHg is not recommended for any patient with stroke.(Bath and Krishnan 2014[86]; Qureshi et al 2016[87]; Lee et al 2015[85])

3.7.2. Weak Recommendation

3.7.2.1. In patients with intracerebral haemorrhage blood pressure may be acutely reduced to a target systolic blood pressure of around 140mmHg (but not substantially below) (Bath et al 2014[86]; Qureshi et al 2016[87]).

3.7.2.2. Pre-existing antihypertensives may be withheld until patients are neurologically stable and treatment can be given safely. (Bath and Krishnan 2014[86])

3.7.3. Practice Statement

3.7.3.1. Consensus-based recommendations • All acute stroke patients should have their blood pressure closely monitored in the frst 48 hours after stroke onset. • Patients with acute ischaemic stroke eligible for treatment with intravenous thrombolysis should have their blood pressure reduced to below 185/110 mmHg before treatment and in the frst 24 hours after treatment. • Patients with acute ischaemic stroke with blood pressure >220/120/mmHg should have their blood pressure cautiously reduced (e.g. by no more than 20%) over the frst 24 hours.

3.8. 10 - Surgery for ischaemic stroke and management of cerebral oedema

3.8.1. Strong Recommendation

3.8.1.1. Selected patients aged 60 years and under with malignant middle cerebral artery territory infarction should undergo urgent neurosurgical assessment for consideration of decompressive hemicraniectomy. When undertaken, hemicraniectomy should ideallybe performed within 48 hours of stroke onset. (Cruz-Flores et al 2012 [90])

3.8.2. Weak Recommendation

3.8.2.1. Decompressive hemicraniectomy may be considered in highly selected stroke patients over the age of 60 years, after careful consideration of the premorbid functional status and patient preferences. (Back et al 2015[88];Jüttler et al (2014)[89]; Cruz-Flores et al 2012[90])

3.8.3. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

3.8.3.1. Corticosteroids are not recommended for management of stroke patients with brain oedema and raised intracranial pressure. (Sandercock et al 2011[91])

3.8.4. Practice Statement

3.8.4.1. Consensus-based recommendation In stroke patients with brain oedema and raised intracranial pressure, osmotherapy and hyperventilation can be trialled while a neurosurgical consultation is undertaken.

3.9. 11.1 - Medical interventions

3.9.1. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

3.9.1.1. For stroke patients with intracerebral haemorrhage previously receiving antiplatelet therapy, platelet transfusion should not be administered(Baharoglu et al 2016[98]).

3.9.2. Weak Recommendation

3.9.2.1. • For stroke patientswith warfarin-related intracerebral haemorrhage, prothrombin complex concentrate should be urgently administeredin preference to standard fresh frozen plasma to reverse coagulopathy.(Steiner et al 2016[97]) • Intravenous vitamin K (5-10mg) should be used in addition to prothrombin complex to reverse warfarin but is insuffcient as a sole treatment(Steiner et al 2016[97]).

3.9.2.2. Stroke patients with intracerebral haemorrhage related to direct oral anticoagulants should urgently receive a specifc reversal agent where available (Pollack et al 2016[101]; Connolly 2016[102]).

3.9.2.3. For stroke patients with intracerebral haemorrhage, blood pressure may be acutely reduced to a target systolic blood pressure of around 140mmHg (but not substantially below) (see Acute blood pressure lowering).

3.10. 11.2 - Surgical interventions

3.10.1. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

3.10.1.1. For stroke patients with supratentorial intracerebral haemorrhage (lobar, basal ganglia and/or thalamic locations), routine surgical evacuation is not recommended outside the context of research. (Mendelow et al 2013[103]; Xiao et al 2012[104]; Gregson et al 2012 [106])

3.10.2. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

3.10.2.1. For stroke patients with intraventricular haemorrhage, the use of intraventricular thrombolysis via external ventricular drain catheter is not recommended outside the context of research. (King et al 2012[105]; Gregson et al 2012[106]; Naff et al 2011[107]; Chen et al 2011 [108])

3.10.3. Practice Statement

3.10.3.1. Consensus-based recommendations • For selected patients with large (>3cm) cerebellar haemorrhage, decompressive surgery should be offered. For other infratentorial haemorrhages (<3cm cerebellar, brainstem) the value of surgical intervention is unclear. • Ventricular drainage as treatment for hydrocephalus is reasonable, especially in patients with decreased level of consciousness. • In previously independent patients with supratentorial haemorrhage, haematoma evacuation may be a life-saving measure in selected patients who are deteriorating neurologically

3.11. 12 - Oxygen therapy

3.11.1. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

3.11.1.1. For acute stroke patients who are not hypoxic, the routine use of supplemental oxygen is not recommended.(Ali et al 2014[112]; Roffe et al 2011[113]; Ronning et al 1999[114]).

3.11.1.2. For acute ischaemic stroke patients, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not recommended. (Bennett et al 2014 [111])

3.11.2. Practice Statement

3.11.2.1. Consensus-based recommendation Stroke patients who are hypoxic (i.e. <95% oxygen saturation) should be given supplemental oxygen.

3.12. 13 - Neuroprotection

3.12.1. Practice Statement

3.12.1.1. Consensus-based recommendation For stroke patients, putative neuroprotective agents, including hypothermic cooling, are not recommended outside the context of research.

3.12.1.2. Consensus-based recommendation Patients with acute ischaemic stroke who were receiving statins prior to admission can continue statin treatment.

3.13. 14 - Glycaemic therapy

3.13.1. Strong Recommendation

3.13.1.1. All stroke patients should have their blood glucose level monitored for the frst 72 hours following admission and appropriate glycaemic therapy institutedto treat hyperglycaemia (glucose levels greater than 10mmols/L) regardless of their diabetic status. (Bellolio et al 2014[128]; Ntaios et al 2014[129]; Middleton et al 2011[131]andDrury et al 2014[140])

3.13.2. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

3.13.2.1. For stroke patients, an intensive approach to the maintenance of tightglycaemic control (between 4.0-7.5mmol/L)is not recommended. (Bellolioet al 2014[128]; Ntaios et al 2014[129];

3.14. 15 - Pyrexia management

3.14.1. Strong Recommendation

3.14.1.1. All stroke patients should have their temperature monitored at least four times a day for 72 hours. (Middleton et al 2011 [139])

3.14.2. Weak Recommendation

3.14.2.1. Stroke patients with fever>37.5oC may be treated with paracetamol as an antipyretic therapy. (den Hertog et al 2009[144]; Middleton et al 2011[139])

3.15. 16 - Dysphagia

3.15.1. Strong Recommendation

3.15.1.1. • All stroke patients should have their swallowing screened by a trained healthcare professional as soon as possible after hospital arrival, before being given any oral food, fuid or medication, and at least within 24 hours of admission. (Middleton et al 2011[151]) • Screening of swallowing should be conducted using a validated screening tool. (Poorjavad et al 2014[161]; Schepp et al 2012 [162]; Daniels 2012[163]; Crary et al 2013[160])

3.15.2. Weak Recommendation

3.15.2.1. All stroke patients who have failed swallow screening or who deteriorate should have a comprehensive assessment of swallowing performed by a speech pathologist (Kertscher et al 2014[164]; O'Horo et al 2015[166]; Mortenson et al 2016[165]; Kjaersgaard et al 2014[167]; Kjaersgaard et al 2015[168]).

3.15.2.2. For stroke survivors with dysphagia, surface neuromuscular electrical stimulation should only be delivered by clinicians experienced in this intervention, and be applied according to published parameters in a research framework. (Chen et al 2016[149]; Huang et al 2014 [150])

3.15.2.3. For stroke survivors with dysphagia, non-invasive brain stimulation should only be provided by clinicians experienced in administering the intervention and only within a research framework. (Pisegna et al 2016 [158]; Du et al 2016 [159])

3.15.3. Practice Statement

3.15.3.1. Consensus-based recommendation While the literature demonstrates signifcant positive effects for acupuncture for the recovery of swallowing function, studies to date are of inadequate quality to support a recommendation of this as a treatment for dysphagia. (Long et al 2012[155])

3.15.3.2. Consensus-based recommendations • Until a safe swallowing method is established for oral intake, patient with dysphagia should have their nutrition and hydrationassessedand managedwith early consideration of alternative non-oral routes. • Patients with dysphagia on texture-modifed diets and/or fuids should have their intake and tolerance to the modifed diet monitored regularly (at least weekly while in hospital). • Patients with persistent weight loss, dehydration and/orrecurrent chest infections should be urgently reviewed. • All staff and carers involved in feeding patients should receive appropriate training in feeding and swallowing techniques. • All staff should be appropriately trained in the maintenance of oral hygiene including daily brushing of teeth and /or dentures and care of gums.

3.15.4. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

3.15.4.1. For stroke survivors with dysphagia, pharyngeal electrical stimulation is not routinely recommended.(Bath et al 2016[152]; Scutt et al 2015[153]; Suntrup et al 2015[154])

4. Secondary prevention

4.1. 4 - Lifestyle modifcation

4.1.1. Practice point

4.1.1.1. All people with stroke or TIA (except those receiving palliative care) should be assessed and informed of their risk factors for recurrent stroke and strategies to modify identifed risk factors. This should occur as soon as possible and certainly prior to discharge from hospital

4.2. 4.1 - Smoking

4.2.1. Practice point

4.2.1.1. People with stroke or TIA who smoke should be advised to stop and assisted to quit in line with existing guidelines such as Supporting smoking cessation: a guide for health professionals(RACGP 2014[7]).

4.3. 4.2 - Diet

4.3.1. Practice point

4.3.1.1. Practice point People with stroke or TIA should be advised to manage their dietary requirements in accordance with theAustralian Dietary Guidelines (NHMRC [8]).

4.4. 4.3 - Physical activity

4.4.1. Practice point

4.4.1.1. People with stroke or TIA should be advised to undertake appropriate, regular physical activity as outlined in one of the following existing guidelines: • Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years)(Commonwealth of Australia 2014[12]) OR • Physical Activity Recommendations for Older Australians (65 years and older)(Commonwealth of Australia 2014[13]).

4.5. 4.4 - Obesity

4.5.1. Practice point

4.5.1.1. People with stroke or TIA who are overweight or obese should be offered advice and support to aid weight loss as outlined in theClinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, Adolescents and Children in Australia(NHMRC 2013[15]

4.6. 4.5 - Alcohol

4.6.1. Practice point

4.6.1.1. People with stroke or TIA should be advised to avoid excessive alcohol consumption (>2 standard drinks per day) in line with the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol(NHMRC 2009[19])

4.7. 5 - Adherence to pharmacotherapy

4.7.1. Weak Recommendation

4.7.1.1. Interventions to promote adherence with medication regimens are often complex and multimodal and should include combinations of the following: - reminders, self-monitoring, reinforcement, counselling, motivational interviewing, family therapy, telephone follow-up, supportive care and dose administration aids (Lawrence et al 2015[20]; Mahtani et al(2011);Nieuwlaat et al2014[26]; Haynes et al 2008[25]) - development of self-management skills and modifcation of dysfunctional beliefs about medication (O'Carroll et al 2014[22]; Kronish et al 2014[21]) -information and education in hospital and in the community (Lawrence et al 2015[20]; Mahtani et al2011[28]; Nieuwlaat et al2014[26])

4.8. 6 - Blood pressure lowering therapy

4.8.1. Acute blood pressure management (see Acute blood pressure lowering in Acute medical and surgical management chapter)

4.8.2. Practice Statement

4.8.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations • All acute stroke patients should have their blood pressure closely monitored in the frst 48 hours after stroke onset. • Ischaemic stroke patients who are eligible for treatment with intravenous thrombolysis should have their blood pressure reduced to below 185/110 mmHg before treatment and in the frst 24 hours after treatment. • Ischaemic stroke patients with blood pressure >220/120mmHg should have their blood pressure cautiously reduced (e.g. by no more than 20%) over the frst 24 hours.

4.8.3. Weak Recommendation

4.8.3.1. Pre-existing antihypertensive agents may be withheld until patients are neurologically stable and treatment can be given safely

4.8.3.2. In patients with intracerebral haemorrhage blood pressure may be acutely reduced to a target systolic blood pressure of around 140mmHg (but not substantially below) (Bath et al 2014[77]; Qureshi et al 2016[78]).

4.8.4. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

4.8.4.1. In all stroke patients, aggressive blood pressure lowering in the acute phase of care to a target SBP of <140mmHg is not recommended.

4.8.5. Long term blood pressure management

4.8.5.1. Strong Recommendation

4.8.5.1.1. • All stroke and TIA patients, regardless of baseline blood pressure, should have long-term blood pressure lowering therapy initiated or intensifed, unless contraindicated by symptomatic hypotension (SPS32013[38]; Arima et al2006[42]; Thomopoulos, Parati and Zanchetti 2016[43]; Ettehad et al2016[44]; Lahkan and Sapko 2009[39]). • Blood pressure lowering therapy should be initiated or intensifed before discharge for those with stroke or TIA, or soon after TIA if the patient is not admitted (SPS32013[38]; Arima et al2006[42]; Thomopoulos, Parati and Zanchetti 2016[43]; Ettehad et al2016[44]; Lahkan and Sapko 2009[39]). • Any of the following drug classes are acceptable as blood pressure lowering therapy;angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor, angiotensin II receptor antagonists, calcium channel blocker, thiazide diuretics. Beta-blockers should not be used asfrst-line agents unless the patient has ischaemic heart disease (Lakhan and Sapko 2009[39]; Rashid et al2003[41]; Mukete et al2015[46])

4.9. 7 - Antiplatelet therapy

4.9.1. Strong Recommendation

4.9.1.1. Long-term antiplatelet therapy (low-dose aspirin, clopidogrel or combined low-dose aspirin and modifed release dipyridamole)should be prescribed to all people with ischaemic stroke or TIA who are not prescribed anticoagulation therapy, taking into consideration patient co-morbidities(Rothwell et al2016[52]; Niu et al2016 [53]; Sandercock et al2014[54]; Kwok et al2015[55]; Malloy et al2013[56]).

4.9.1.2. All ischaemic stroke and TIA patients should have antiplatelet therapy commenced as soon as possible once brain imaging has excluded haemorrhage unless thrombolysis has been administered, in which case antiplatelet therapy can commence after 24-hour brain imaging has excluded major haemorrhagic transformation. (see Antithrombotic therapy in Acute Medical and Surgical Management chapter)

4.9.2. Weak Recommendation

4.9.2.1. For high risk patients with minor ischaemic stroke or TIA, aspirin plus clopidogrel may be used in the short term (frst three weeks) to prevent stroke recurrence (Niu et al 2016[53]; Gouyaet al 2014[58]; Zhang et al 2015[59]; Cote et al 2014[60]).

4.9.3. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

4.9.3.1. The combination of aspirin plus clopidogrel should not be used for the long-term secondary prevention of cerebrovascular disease in people who do not have acute coronary disease or recent coronary stent (Niu et al 2016[53]; Gouyaet al 2014[58]; Zhang et al 2015[59]; Cote et al 2014[60])..

4.9.3.2. Antiplatelet agents should not be used for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fbrillation (Connolly et al 2011[64]; Diener et al 2012 [65]; NICE et al 2014[66]; Ruff et al 2014[82]).

4.10. 8 - Anticoagulant therapy

4.10.1. Strong Recommendation

4.10.1.1. • For ischaemic stroke or TIA patients with atrial fbrillation (both paroxysmal and permanent),oral anticoagulation is recommended for long-term secondary prevention. (Saxena et al 2004[100]; Saxena 2004[101]; Diener et al 2012[89]; Ruff et al 2014[82]) • DOACsshould be initiated in preference to warfarin forpatients with non-valvular atrial fbrillation and adequate renal function (Ruff et al 2014[82]). • For patients with valvular atrial fbrillation or inadequate renal function (target INR 2.5, range 2.0-3.0), and in patients with mechanical heart valvesor other indications for anticoagulation, warfarin should be used.

4.10.2. Practice Statement

4.10.2.1. Consensus-based recommendation For ischaemic stroke and TIA patients, the decision to begin anticoagulant therapy can be delayed for up to two weeks but should be made prior to discharge.

4.10.2.2. Practice point Concurrent antiplatelet therapy should not be used for patients who are anticoagulated for atrial fbrillationunless there is clear indication (e.g. recent coronary stent). Addition of antiplatelet for stable coronary artery disease in the absence of stents should not be used.

4.10.2.3. For patients with TIA, anticoagulant therapy should begin once CT or MRI has excluded intracranial haemorrhage as the cause of the current event.

4.10.2.4. For patients with ischaemic stroke due to atrial fbrillation and a genuine contraindication to long-term anticoagulation, percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion may be a reasonable treatment to reduce recurrent stroke risk.

4.11. 9 - Cholesterol lowering therapy

4.11.1. Strong Recommendation

4.11.1.1. All patients with ischaemic stroke or TIA with possible atherosclerotic contribution and reasonable life expectancy should be prescribed a high potency statin, regardless of baseline lipid levels. (Manktelow et al 2009[117]; Amarenco et al 2006[118]).

4.11.2. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

4.11.2.1. Statins should not be used routinely for intracerebral haemorrhage (Manktelow et al 2009[117]; Amrenco et al 2006[118]

4.11.2.2. Fibrates should not be used routinely for the secondary prevention of stroke (Zhou et al 2013[114]; Wang et al 2015[113]).

4.12. 10 - Carotid Intervention

4.12.1. Strong Recommendation

4.12.1.1. • Carotid endarterectomyis recommended for patients with recent (<3 months) non-disabling carotid artery territory ischaemic stroke or TIA with ipsilateral carotid stenosis measured at 70-99% (NASCET criteria) if it can be performed by a specialist team with audited practice and a low rate (<6%) of perioperative stroke and death. •Carotid endarterectomycan be considered in selected patients with recent (<3 months) non-disablingischaemic stroke or TIA patients with symptomatic carotid stenosis of 50–69% (NASCET criteria) if it can be performed by a specialist team with audited practice and a very low rate (<3%) of perioperative stroke and death. •Carotid endarterectomy should be performed as soon as possible (ideally within two weeks) after the ischaemic stroke or TIA. • All patients with carotid stenosis should be treated with intensive vascular secondary prevention therapy. (Bangalore et al 2011[149],Rerkasem & Rothwell 2011[167])

4.12.2. Weak Recommendation

4.12.2.1. • Carotid endarterectomy should be performed in preference to carotid stenting due to a lower perioperative stroke risk. However, in selected patients with unfavourable anatomy, symptomatic re-stenosis after endarterectomy or previous radiotherapy, stenting may be reasonable.(Bangalore et al 2011[149]) • In patients aged <70 years old, carotid stenting with an experienced proceduralist may be reasonable. (Bonati et al 2015 [128], Brott et al 2016[122])

4.12.3. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

4.12.3.1. In patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis, carotid endarterectomy or stenting should not be performed. (Rosenfeld et al 2016 [123]; Raman et al 2013 [140]; Bangalore et al 2011 [149]; Abbot et al 2009 [164]).

4.12.4. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

4.12.4.1. In patients with symptomatic carotid occlusion, extracranial/ intracranial bypass is not recommended. (Powers et al 2011 [152]; Fluri 2010 [159])

4.13. 11 - Cervical artery dissection

4.13.1. Strong Recommendation

4.13.1.1. Patients with acute ischaemic stroke due to cervical arterial dissectionshould be treated with antithrombotictherapy. There is no clear beneft of anticoagulation over antiplatelet therapy (CADISS2015[172]).

4.14. 12 - Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

4.14.1. Strong Recommendation

4.14.1.1. Patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST)without contraindications to anticoagulation should be treated with either body weight-adjusted subcutaneous low molecular weight heparin or dose-adjusted intravenous heparin, followed by warfarin, regardless of the presence of intracerebral haemorrhage (Coutinho et al 2011[180]; Misra et al 2012[181]; Afshari et al 2015[182]).

4.14.2. Practice Statement

4.14.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations • In patients with CVST, the optimal duration of oral anticoagulation after the acute phase is unclear and may be taken in consultation with a haematologist. • In CVST patients with an underlying thrombophilic disorder, or who have had a recurrent CVST, indefniteanticoagulation should be considered. • In patients with CVST, there is insuffcient.evidence to support the use of either systemic or local thrombolysis. • In patients with CVST and impending cerebral herniation,craniectomy can be used as a life-saving intervention. • In patients with the clinical features of idiopathic intracranial hypertension, imaging of the cerebral venous system is

4.15. 13 - Diabetes management

4.15.1. Practice point

4.15.1.1. Patients with glucose intolerance or diabetes should be managed in line with Diabetes AustraliaBest Practice Guidelines.

4.16. 14 - Patent foramen ovale management

4.16.1. Strong Recommendation

4.16.1.1. Patients with ischaemic stroke or TIA and PFO should receive optimal medical therapy including antiplatelet therapy or anticoagulation if indicated (Homma et al 2002[199]; Shariat et al 2013[197]).

4.16.2. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

4.16.2.1. Routine endovascular closure of patent foramen ovale is not recommended. Endovascular closuremay be reasonablein highly selected young ischaemic stroke patients after thoroughexclusion of other stroke aetiologies(Kent et al 2016[200]; Li et al2015[195]; Stortecky et al 2015[196]).

4.17. 15 - Hormone replacement therapy

4.17.1. Practice Statement

4.17.1.1. Consensus-based recommendation In stroke and TIA patients, continuation or initiation of Hormone Replacement Therapy is not recommended, but will depend on discussion with the patient and an individualisedassessment of riskand beneft (Boardman et al 2015[203]; Yang et al 2013[204]; Marjoribanks et al 2012[206]).

4.18. 16 - Oral contraception

4.18.1. Weak Recommendation

4.18.1.1. For women of child-bearing age who have had a stroke, non-hormonal methods of contraception should be considered. If systemic hormonal contraception is required, a non-oestrogen containing medication is preferred (Roach et al 2015[206]; Plu-Bureau 2013[207]; Peragallo et al 2013[208]).

4.18.2. Practice Statement

4.18.2.1. Consensus-based recommendation For women of child bearing age with a history of stroke or TIA, the decision to initiate or continue oral contraception should be discussed with the patient and based on an overall assessment of individual risk and beneft.

5. Rehabilitation

5.1. 4 - Early supported discharge services

5.1.1. Strong Recommendation

5.1.1.1. Where comprehensive stroke services are available as an alternative to stroke unit care and include inpatient and community rehabilitation, early supported discharge service should be offered to stroke patients with mild to moderate disability. (Fearon et al 2012 [5])

5.2. 5 - Home-based rehabilitation

5.2.1. Weak Recommendation

5.2.1.1. Home-based rehabilitation may be considered as a preferred model for delivering rehabilitation in the community.Where home rehabilitation is unavailable, stroke patients requiring rehabilitation should receive centre-based care. (Rasmussen et al 2016[15]; Ghazipura 2015[14]; Hillier et al 2010 [17])

5.3. 6 - Goal setting

5.3.1. Strong Recommendation

5.3.1.1. • Health professionals should initiate the process of setting goals with stroke survivors and their families and carers. Goals for recovery should be clearly communicated so that both the stroke survivor (and their families/carers) and other members of the rehabilitation team are aware of goals set. (Sugavanam et al 2013 [26]; Taylor et al 2012[27]; Rosewilliam et al 2011[28]) • Goals should be set in collaboration with the stroke survivor and their family/carer (unless they choose not to participate) and should be well-defned, specifc and challenging. They should be reviewed and updated regularly. (Sugavanam et al 2013 [26]; Taylor et al 2012[27]; Rosewilliam et al 2011[28]

5.4. 7 - Early mobilisation

5.4.1. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

5.4.1.1. For stroke patients, starting intensive out of bed activities within 24 hours of stroke onset is not recommended. (Bernhardt et al 2015 [30])

5.4.2. Strong Recommendation

5.4.2.1. All stroke patients should commence mobilisation (out of bed activity) within 48 hrs of stroke onset unless receiving palliative care. (Bernhardt et al 2015[30]; Lynch et al 2014 [31])

5.4.3. Weak Recommendation

5.4.3.1. For patients with mild and moderate stroke frequent, short sessions of out of bed activity should be provided but the optimal timing within the 48-hour post-stroke time period is unclear (Bernhardt et al 2015 [30])

5.5. 8-Deficit

5.5.1. 8.1 - Weakness

5.5.1.1. Strong Recommendation

5.5.1.1.1. Stroke survivors with reduced strength in their arms or legs should be offered progressive resistance training. (Ada, Dorsch and Canning 2006 [39]; Harris and Eng 2010 [38])

5.5.1.2. Weak Recommendation

5.5.1.2.1. For stroke survivors with reduced strength in their arms or legs (particularly for those with less than antigravity strength), electrical stimulation may be used. (Nascimento et al 2014[35])

5.5.2. 8.2 - Loss of sensation

5.5.2.1. Weak Recommendation

5.5.2.1.1. For stroke survivors with sensory loss of the upper limb, sensory discrimination training may be provided. (de Diego et al 2013[40]; Carey et al 2011[42]; Doyle et al 2010[43])

5.5.3. 8.3 - Vision

5.5.3.1. Practice Statement

5.5.3.1.1. Consensus-based recommendations • All stroke survivors should have an: ◦ assessment of visual acuity whilst wearing the appropriate glasses to check their ability toread newspaper text and see distant objects clearly ◦ examination for the presence of visual feld defcit (e.g. hemianopia) and eye movementdisorders (e.g. strabismus and motility defcit) • Treatment for central vision loss due to retinal artery occlusion should only be provided byan ophthalmologist.

5.6. 9.1 - Amount of rehabilitation

5.6.1. Strong Recommendation

5.6.1.1. • For stroke survivors, rehabilitation should be structured to provide as much scheduled therapy (occupational therapy and physiotherapy) as possible, with a minimum of three hours a day ensuring active task practice is maximised during this time. (Lohse et al 2014[53]) • For stroke survivors, group circuit class therapy should be used to increase scheduled therapy time. (English et al 2015[49])

5.6.2. Practice Statement

5.6.2.1. Consensus-based recommendation Stroke survivors should be encouraged to continue with active task practice outside of scheduled therapy sessions. This could include strategies such as • self-directed, independentpractice • semi-supervised and assisted practice involving family/friends,as appropriate.

5.7. 9.2 - Cardiorespiratory ftness

5.7.1. Strong Recommendation

5.7.1.1. For stroke survivors, rehabilitation should include individually tailored exercise interventions to improve cardiorespiratory ftness. (Saunders et al 2016[64])

5.7.2. Practice Statement

5.7.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations • All stroke survivors should commence cardiorespiratory training during their inpatient stay. • Stroke survivors should be encouraged to participate in ongoing regular physical activity regardless of level of disability.

5.8. 9.3 - Sitting

5.8.1. Strong Recommendation

5.8.1.1. For stroke survivors who have diffculty sitting, practising reaching beyond arm’s length while sitting with supervision/assistance should be undertaken. (Veerbeek et al 2014 [83])

5.9. 9.4 - Standing up

5.9.1. Strong Recommendation

5.9.1.1. For stroke survivorswho have diffculty in standing up from a chair, practice of standing up should be undertaken. (Pollock et al 2014 [89]; French et al 2007 [132])

5.10. 9.5 - Standing balance

5.10.1. Strong Recommendation

5.10.1.1. For stroke survivors who have diffculty standing, practice of standing balance should be provided. Strategies could include: • practising functional tasks while standing (van Dujjnhoven et al 2016[108]Veerbeek et al 2014[83]; English et al 2010[99] • walking training that includes challenge to standing balance (e.g. overground walking, obstacle courses) (van Dujjnhoven et al 2016[108]) • providing visual or auditory feedback (Veerbeek et al 2014[83]; Stanton et al 2011[97])

5.10.2. Weak Recommendation

5.10.2.1. For stroke survivors who have diffculty with standing balance, virtual reality including treadmill training with virtual reality or use of Wii Balance Boards may be used. (Corbetta et al 2015[91])

5.11. 9.6 - Walking

5.11.1. Strong Recommendation

5.11.1.1. Stroke survivors with diffculty walking should be given the opportunity to undertake tailored repetitive practice of walking(or components of walking) as much as possible. (French et al 2007[132]) The following modalities can be used to achieve this: • Circuit class therapy (with a focus on overground walking practice) (English et al 2010[114]; van de Port et al[115]) • Treadmill training with or without body weight support (Mehrholz et al 2014[117]) • Virtual reality training (Corbetta et al 2015[125]; Rodrigues-Baroni et al 2014[126]; Laver et al 2015[127])

5.11.2. Weak Recommendation

5.11.2.1. For stroke survivors with diffculty walking, one or more of the following interventions may be used in addition to those listed above: • Electromechanically assisted gait training (Mehrholz et al 2013[121]) • Biofeedback (Stanton et al 2011[123]) • Cueing of cadence (Nascimento et al 2015[122]) • Functional electrical stimulation (Howlett et al 2015[124])

5.11.2.2. For stroke survivors, individually ftted lower limb orthoses may be used to minimises limitations in walking ability. Improvement in walking will only occur while the orthosis is being worn. (Tyson et al 2013 [129])

5.12. 9.7 - Upper limb activity

5.12.1. Strong Recommendation

5.12.1.1. For stroke survivors with some active wrist and fnger extension, intensive constraint induced movement therapy (minimum 2 hours of active therapy per day for 2 weeks, plus restraint for at least 6 hours a day) should be provided to improve arm and hand use. (Corbetta et al 2015[144]) Trunk restraint may also be incorporated into the active therapy sessions at any stage post-stroke. (Wee et al 2014 [165])

5.12.1.2. In people with mild to severe arm weakness after stroke, mechanically assisted arm training (e.g. robotics) shouldbe used to improve upper limb function. (Mehrholz et al 2015 [156])

5.12.1.3. For people with mild to severe arm or hand weakness, electrical stimulation in conjunction with motor training should be used to improve upper limb function after stroke. (Howlett et al 2015 [124])

5.12.1.4. For stroke survivors with mild to moderate arm impairment, virtual reality and interactive games should be used to improve upper limb function. Virtual reality therapy should be provided for at least 15 hours total therapy time. (Laver et al 2015 [96])

5.12.2. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

5.12.2.1. Hand and wrist orthoses (splints) should not be used as part of routine practice as they have no effect on function, pain or range of movement (Tyson et al 2011 [129])

5.12.3. Weak Recommendation

5.12.3.1. For stroke survivors with mild to moderate weakness of their arm, mental practice in conjunction with active motor training may be used to improve arm function. (Kho et al 2014 [157]; Barclay-Goddard et al 2011 [158]; Braun et al 2014 [128])

5.12.3.2. For stroke survivors with mild to moderate weakness, complex regional pain syndrome and/or neglect, mirror therapy may be used as an adjunct to routine therapy to improve arm function after stroke. (Thieme et al 2012 [162])

5.12.3.3. For stroke survivors, bilateral arm training may be used as part of comprehensive goal directed rehabilitation. However, when matched for dosage, unilateral training may be more effective. (Veerbeek et al 2014[50]; van Delden et al 2012 [138]; Coupar et al 2010[133])

5.12.4. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

5.12.4.1. Brain stimulation (transcranial direct stimulation or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) should not be used in routine practice for improving arm function and only used as part of a research framework. (Elsner et al 2016 [186]; Hao et al [187])

5.13. 10 - Activities of daily living

5.13.1. Strong Recommendation

5.13.1.1. • Community-dwelling stroke survivors with diffculties in performance of daily activities should be assessed by a trained clinician. (Legg et al2006[175]) • Community-dwelling stroke survivors with confrmed diffculties in personal or extended ADL should have specifc therapy from a trained clinician (e.g. task-specifc practice and training in theuse of appropriate aids) to address these issues. (Legg et al2006 [175])

5.13.2. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

5.13.2.1. For older stroke survivors living in a nursing home, routine occupational therapy is not recommended to improve ADL function. (Sackley et al 2015[174])

5.13.2.2. For stroke survivors in the acute, sub-acute or chronic phase post stroke, acupuncture should not be used to improve ADL.(Kong et al 2010[188])

5.13.2.3. Administration of amphetamines to improve ADL is not recommended. (Martinsson et al 2007 [191]; Lokket al 2011 [192])

5.13.3. Weak Recommendation

5.13.3.1. For stroke survivors, selective serotoninreuptake inhibitors may be used to improve performance of ADL. (Mead et al 2012[201])

5.13.3.2. For stroke survivors, virtual reality technology may be used to improve ADL outcomes in addition to usual therapy. (Laver et al 2015 [96])

5.13.4. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

5.13.4.1. Brain stimulation (transcranial direct stimulation or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) should not be used in routine practice to improve ADLand only used as part of a research framework.(Elsner et al 2016 [186]; Hao et al 2013 [187])

5.14. 11 - Communication

5.14.1. Practice point

5.14.1.1. Stroke survivors with suspected communication diffculties should receive a comprehensive assessment to determine the nature and type of the communication impairment

5.14.2. 11.1 - Aphasia

5.14.2.1. Strong Recommendation

5.14.2.1.1. For stroke survivors with aphasia, speech and language therapy should be provided to improve functional communication. (Brady et al 2016[202])

5.14.2.2. Weak Recommendation

5.14.2.2.1. For stroke survivors with aphasia, intensive aphasia therapy (at least 45 minutes of direct language therapy for fve days a week) may be used in the frst few months after stroke. (Brady et al 2016[202])

5.14.2.3. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

5.14.2.3.1. Brain stimulation (transcranial direct current stimulation or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation), with or without traditional aphasia therapy, should not be used in routine practice for improving speech and laungauage function and only used as part of a research framework.(Ren et al 2014[203]; Elsner et al 2015[204])

5.14.2.3.2. For stroke survivors with aphasia, the routine use of piracetam is not recommended. (Greener et al 2001[206]; Gungor et al 2011[211])

5.14.2.4. Practice point

5.14.2.4.1. • All stroke patients should be screened for communication defcits using a screening tool that is valid and reliable. • Those stroke patients with suspected communication diffculties should receive formal, comprehensive assessment by a specialist clinician.

5.14.2.4.2. Where a stroke patient is found to have aphasia, the clinician should: • Document the provisional diagnosis • Explain and discuss the nature of the impairment with the patient, family/carers and treating team and discuss and teach strategies or techniques which may enhance communication • In collaboration with the patient and family/carer, identify goals for therapy and develop and initiate a tailored intervention plan. • The goals and plans should be reassessed at appropriate intervals over time. • Alternative means of communication (such as gesture, drawing, writing, use of augmentative and alternative communication devices) should be used as appropriate All written information on health, aphasia, social and community supports (such as that available from the Australian Aphasia Association or local agencies) should be available in an aphasia-friendly format.

5.14.2.4.3. • Stroke survivorswith chronic and persisting aphasia should have their mood monitored. • Environmental barriers facing people with aphasia should be addressed through training communication partners, raising awareness of and educating about aphasia, in order to reduce negative attitudes, and promoting access and inclusion by providing aphasia-friendly formats or other environmental adaptations. People with aphasia from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds may need special attention from trained healthcare interpreters. • The impact of aphasia on functional activities, participation and quality of life, including the impact upon relationships, vocation and leisure, should be assessed and addressed as appropriate from early post-onset and over time for those chronically affected.

5.14.3. 11.2 - Dysarthria

5.14.3.1. Weak Recommendation

5.14.3.1.1. For stroke survivors withdysarthria,interventions should be individually tailored and provided by a speech and language pathologist or a trained communication partner. (Bowen et al 2012[217])

5.14.3.2. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

5.14.3.2.1. For stroke survivors with dysarthria, non-speech oromotor exercises have not been shown to add additional beneft to behavioural speech practice and are not recommended. (Mackenzie et al 2014[216]).

5.14.4. 11.3 - Apraxia of speech

5.14.4.1. Weak Recommendation

5.14.4.1.1. For stroke survivors with apraxia of speech, interventions may be individually tailored and incorporate articulatory-kinematic and rate/ rhythm approaches. (Ballard et al 2015[218]; Wambaugh et al 2006[219]) In addition, therapy may incorporate (Ballard et al 2015[218]; Wambaugh et al 2006[219]): 1. Use of modelling and visual cueing 2. Principles of motor learning to structure practice sessions 3. Prompts forRestructuringOralMuscularPhoneticTargets (PROMPT) therapy 4. Self-administered computer programs that use multimodal sensory stimulation 5. For functional activities, the use of augmentative and alternative communication modalities such as gesture or speech-generating devices is recommended

5.14.5. 11.4 - Cognitive communication disorder in right hemisphere stroke

5.14.5.1. Practice Statement

5.14.5.1.1. Consensus-based recommendations Stroke survivors with cognitive involvement who have diffculties in communication should have: • comprehensive assessment undertaken • a management plan developed and • family education, supportand counselling as required. (Lehman Blake et al 2013[220]; Ferre et al 2011[221]) Management may include: • Motoric-imitative, cognitive-linguistic treatments to improve use of emotional tone in speech production. (Rosenbek et al2006 [222]) • Semantic based treatment connecting literal and metaphorical senses to improve comprehension of conversational and metaphoric concept.(Lungren et al 2011[223])

5.15. 12-cognition

5.15.1. 12.1 - Assessment of cognition

5.15.1.1. Practice points

5.15.1.1.1. • All patients should be screened for cognitive and perceptual defcits by a trained person using validated and reliable screening tools. • Patients identifed during screening as having cognitive defcits should be referred for comprehensive clinical neuropsychological investigations.

5.15.2. 12.2 - Executive function

5.15.2.1. Practice points

5.15.2.1.1. • Patients considered to have problems associated with executive functioning defcits should be formally assessed by a trained person using reliable and valid tools that include measures of behavioural symptoms. • For stroke survivors with impaired executive functioning, the way in which information is provided should be tailored to accommodate/compensate for the particular area of dysfunction.

5.15.2.2. Weak Recommendation

5.15.2.2.1. For patients with stroke and cognitive impairment, strategy and/or cognitive training may be provided. (Zucchella et al 2014 [224]; Skidmore et al[228])

5.15.3. 12.3 - Attention and concentration

5.15.3.1. Practice Statement

5.15.3.1.1. Consensus-based recommendation For stroke survivors with attentional impairments or those who appear easily distracted or unable to concentrate, there should be a formal neuropsychological or cognitive assessment.

5.15.3.2. Weak Recommendation

5.15.3.2.1. For stroke survivors with attention and concentration defcits, cognitive rehabilitation may be used. (Loetscher et al 2013 [234]; Virk et al 2016 [235])

5.15.3.2.2. For stroke survivors with attention and concentration defcits, consideration may be given to prescribing exercise training and leisure activities. (Liu-Ambrose et al 2015 [236])

5.15.4. 12.4 - Memory

5.15.4.1. Practice Statement

5.15.4.1.1. Consensus-based recommendations Any patient found to have memory impairment causing diffculties in rehabilitation or adaptive functioning should: • be referred for a more comprehensive assessment of their memory abilities • have their nursing and therapy sessions tailored to use techniques which capitalise on preserved memory abilities • be assessed to see if compensatory techniques to reduce their disabilities, such as notebooks, diaries, audiotapes, electronic organisers and audio alarms are useful • have therapy delievered in an environment as similar to the stroke survivor's usual environment as possible to encourage generalisation • be taught approaches aimed at directly improving their memory e.g. using a notebook, diary, mobile phone/audio alerts, electronic calendars and/or reminders

5.15.5. 12.5 - Perception

5.15.5.1. Practice Statement

5.15.5.1.1. Consensus-based recommendations • Stroke survivors with an identifed perceptual diffculties should have a formal perceptual assessment. • Stroke survivors with an identifed perceptual impairment and their carer should receive: ◦ verbal and written information about the impairment ◦ have their environment assessed and adapted to reduce potential risk and promote independence ◦ practical advice/strategies to reduce risk (eg trips falls, limb injury) and promote independence ◦ be offered a perceptual intervention, ideally within the context of a clinical trial.

5.15.6. 12.6 - Limb apraxia

5.15.6.1. Practice point

5.15.6.1.1. Stroke survivors who have suspected diffculties executing tasks but who have adequate limb movement should be screened for apraxia.

5.15.6.2. Weak Recommendation

5.15.6.2.1. Treatment for people with limb apraxia may incorporate gesture training, strategy training and/or errorless learning. (Lindsten-McQueen et al 2014 [244])

5.15.7. 12.7 - Neglect

5.15.7.1. Practice point

5.15.7.1.1. Any patient with suspected or actual neglect or impairment of spatial awareness should have a full assessment using validated tools.

5.15.7.2. Weak Recommendation

5.15.7.2.1. Stroke survivors with symptoms of unilateral neglect may be provided with cognitive rehabilitation (e.g. computerised scanning training, pen and paper tasks, visual scanning training, eye patching, mental practice). (Bowen et al 2013[260])

5.15.7.2.2. In stroke survivors with neglect, mirror therapy may be used to improve arm function and ADL performance. (Pandian et al 2015[251]; Thieme et al 2012[248])

5.15.7.3. Practice Statement

5.15.7.3.1. Consensus-based recommendations Stroke survivors with impaired attention to one side should be: • given a clear explanation of the impairment • should be systematically taught compensatory strategies such as visual scanning to reduce to impact of neglect on activities such as reading, eating and walking • given cues to draw attention to the affected side during therapy and nursing procedures • monitored to ensure that they do not eat too little through missing food on one side ofthe plate

5.15.7.4. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

5.15.7.4.1. Non-invasive brain stimulation should not be used in routine clinical practice to decrease unilateral neglect but may be used within a research framework.

6. Managing complications

6.1. 4.1 - Early hydration

6.1.1. Strong Recommendation

6.1.1.1. • All stroke patients should have their hydration status assessed, monitored, and managed throughout their hospital admission. • Where fuid support is required, crystalloid solution should be used in preference to colloid solutions as the frst option to treat or prevent dehydration. (Visvanathan et al 2015[9])

6.2. 4.2 - Early feeding

6.2.1. Strong Recommendation

6.2.1.1. All stroke patients should be screened for malnutrition at admission and on an ongoing basis (at least weekly) while in hospital. (Dennis 2005[30]; Martineau et al 2005[22]; Milne et al 2006[29])

6.2.1.2. For stroke patients whose nutrition status is poor or deteriorating, nutrition supplementation should be offered. (Geeganage et al 2012 [19]; Dennis et al 2005[30])

6.2.2. Weak Recommendation

6.2.2.1. • For stroke patients who do not recover a functional swallow, nasogastric tube feeding is the preferred method of feeding.(Geeganage et al 2012[19]; Gomes et al 2015[27]) • For stroke patients, continuous pump feeding is preferred over intermittent feeding. (Lee et al 2010[20])

6.2.3. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

6.2.3.1. For stroke patients who are adequately nourished, routine oral nutrition supplements are not recommended. (Geeganage et al 2012[19]; Dennis et al 2005[30])

6.2.4. Practice point

6.2.4.1. For patients with acute stroke food intake should be monitored.

6.2.4.2. Stroke patients who are at risk of malnutrition, including those with dysphagia, should be referred to a dietitian for assessment and ongoing management.

6.3. 5 - Poor oral hygiene

6.3.1. Strong Recommendation

6.3.1.1. All patients with stroke, particularly those with swallowing diffculties, should have assistance and/or education to maintain good oral and dental (including dentures) hygiene. (Chipps et al 2014[32]; Lam et al 2013[33]; Brady et al 2006[36])

6.3.1.2. Staff and carers of stroke patients (in hospital, in residential care and home settings) shouldbe trained in assessment and management of oral hygiene. (Brady et al 2006[36])

6.3.2. Weak Recommendation

6.3.2.1. For patients with stroke, Chlorhexidine in combination with oral hygiene instruction, and/or assisted brushing may be used to decrease dental plaque and gingival bleeding. (Lam et al 2013[33])

6.4. 6 - Spasticity

6.4.1. Weak Recommendation

6.4.1.1. In patients with stroke, Botulinum Toxin A in addition to rehabilitation therapy may be used to reduceupperlimb spasticity but is unlikely to improve activity or motor function. (Foley et al 2013 [38]; Dashtipour et al 2015 [39]; Baker et al 2015 [40]; Gracies et al 2014 [42])

6.4.1.2. For patients with stroke, Botulinum Toxin A in addition torehabilitation therapy may be useful for improving muscle tone in patients with lowerlimb spasticity but is unlikely to improve motor function or walking. (Wu et al 2016 [60]; McIntyre et al 2012 [51]; Olvey et al 2010 [52])

6.4.1.3. For patients with stroke, adjunct therapies to Botulinum toxinum A such as electrical stimulation, casting, taping and stretching may be used to reduce spasticity. (Stein et al 2015 [56]; Krewer et al 2014 [57]; Etoh et al 2015 [58]; Ochi et al 2013 [59]; Wu et al 2014 [60]; Yamaguchi et al 2012 [61]; Mills et al 2016 [62]; Santamato et al 2015 [63])

6.4.2. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

6.4.2.1. For patients with stroke, acupuncture should not be used for treatment of spasticityin routine practice other thanas part of a research study. (Lim et al 2015 [53]; Park et al 2014 [54]; Li et al 2014 [55])

6.4.2.2. For patients with stroke, the routine use of stretch to reduce spasticity is not recommended. (Katalinic et al 2010[64]; Kim et al 2013[65]; Jung et al 2011 [66])

6.5. 7 - Contracture

6.5.1. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

6.5.1.1. For people with stroke at risk of developing contracture, routine use of splints or prolonged positioning of upper or lower limb muscles in a lengthened position (stretch) is not recommended.(Katalinic et al 2010 [64])

6.5.2. Practice Statement

6.5.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations • For stroke survivors, serial casting may be trialled to reduce severe, persistent contracture when conventional therapy has failed. • For stroke survivors at risk of developing contracture or who have developed contracture, active motor training to elicit muscle activity should be provided.

6.6. 8 - Subluxation

6.6.1. Weak Recommendation

6.6.1.1. For stroke survivors, electrical stimulation may be usedtopreventor reduceshoulder subluxation. (Vafadar et al 2015[75])

6.6.2. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

6.6.2.1. For stroke survivors, shoulder strapping is not recommended to prevent or reduce shoulder subluxation. (Appel et al 2014[74])

6.6.3. Practice Statement

6.6.3.1. Consensus-based recommendation For stroke survivors at risk of shoulder subluxation, frm support devices (e.g. devices such as a laptray) may be used.

6.6.3.2. Consensus-based recommendation To prevent complications related to shoulder subluxation, education and training aboutcorrect manual handling and positioning should be provided to the stroke survivor, their family/carer and health professionals, particularly nursing and allied health staff.

6.7. 9 - Shoulder pain

6.7.1. Weak Recommendation

6.7.1.1. In stroke patients with shoulder pain, shoulder strapping may be used to reduce pain. (Appel et al 2014 [79])

6.7.1.2. In stroke patients with shoulder pain, shoulder injections (either subacromial steroid injections for patients with rotator cuff syndrome, or methylprednisolone and bupivacaine forsuprascapular nerve block) may be used to reduce shoulder pain.(Adey-Wakeling et al 2013 [83]; Rah et al 2012 [85])

6.7.1.3. In selected stroke patients, Botulinum toxin A may be used to reduce shoulder pain. (Singh et al 2010 [88]; Marciniak et al 2012 [86])

6.7.2. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

6.7.2.1. In stroke patients, electrical stimulation is not recommended to manage shoulder pain. (Vafadar et al 2015[75])

6.7.3. Practice Statement

6.7.3.1. Consensus-based recommendations For stroke survivors with severe weakness who are at risk of developing shoulder pain, management may include: • shoulder strapping • education of staff, carers and stroke survivors about preventing trauma • active motor training to improve function

6.7.3.2. For stroke survivors who develop shoulder pain, management should be based on evidence-based interventions for acute musculoskeletal pain.

6.8. 10 - Swelling of the extremities

6.8.1. Practice Statement

6.8.1.1. Consensus-based recommendations For stroke survivors with severe weakness who are at risk of developing swelling of the extremities, management may include the following • dynamic pressure garments • electrical stimulation • elevation of the limb when resting.

6.8.1.2. Consensus-based recommendations For stroke survivors who have swelling of the hands or feet management may include the following: • dynamic pressure garments • electrical stimulation • continuous passive motion with elevation • elevation of the limb when resting.

6.9. 11 - Fatigue

6.9.1. Practice Statement

6.9.1.1. Consensus-based recommendations • Therapy for stroke survivors with fatigue should be organised for periods of the day when they are most alert. • Stroke survivors and their families/carers should be provided with information and education about fatigue • Potential modifying factors for fatigue should be considered including avoiding sedating drugs and alcohol, screening for sleep- related breathing disorders and depression • While there is insuffcient evidence to guide practice, possible interventions could include exercise and improving sleep hygiene

6.10. 12.1 - Urinary incontinence

6.10.1. Weak Recommendation

6.10.1.1. • All stroke survivors with suspected urinary continence diffculties should be assessed by trained personnel using a structured functional assessment. (Martin et al2006[109]) • For stroke survivors, aportable bladder ultrasound scan should be used to assist in diagnosis and management of urinary incontinence. (Martin et al 2006[109])

6.10.1.2. • Stroke patients inhospital withconfrmed continence diffculties, should have a structured continence management plan formulated, documented, implemented and monitored. (Thomas et al2008[105]) • A community continence management plan should be developed with the stroke survivor and family/carer prior to discharge, and should include information on accessing continence resources and appropriate review in the community. (Thomas et al2008[105]) • If incontinence persists the stroke survivor should be re-assessed and referred for specialist review. (Thomas et al2008[105])

6.10.1.3. For stroke patients with urge incontinence: • anticholinergic drugs can be tried. (Nabi et al 2006[108]) • a prompted or scheduled voiding regime program/ bladder retraining can be trialled. (Thomas et al2015[104]; Thomas et al 2008[105]) • if continence is unachievable, containment aids can assist with social continence.

6.10.2. Practice Statement

6.10.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations For stroke patients with urinary retention: • The routine use of indwelling catheters is notrecommended. However if urinary retention is severe, intermittent catheterisation should be used to assist bladder emptying during hospitalisation. If retention continues, intermittent catheterisation is preferable to indwelling catheterisation. • If using intermittent catheterisation, a closed sterile catheterisation technique should be used in hospital. • Where management of chronic retention requires catheterisation, consideration should be given to the choice of appropriate route, urethral or suprapubic. • If a stroke survivor is discharged with either intermittent or indwelling catheterisation, they and their family/carer will require education about management, where to access supplies and who to contact in case of problems.

6.10.2.2. Consensus-based recommendation For stroke patients with functional incontinence, a whole-team approach is recommended.

6.10.2.3. Consensus-based recommendation For stroke patients, the use of indwelling catheters should be avoided as an initial management strategy except in acute urinary retention.

6.11. 12.2 - Faecal incontinence

6.11.1. Weak Recommendation

6.11.1.1. • All stroke survivors with suspected faecal continence diffculties should be assessed by trained personnel using a structured functional assessment (Harari et al2004[121]). • For stroke survivorswith constipation or faecal incontinence, a full assessment (including a rectal examination) should be carried out and appropriate management of constipation, faecal overfow or bowel incontinence established and targeted education provided (Harari et al2004[121]).

6.11.1.2. For stroke survivors with bowel dysfunction, bowel habit retraining using type and timing of diet and exploiting the gastro-colic refex should be used. (Venn et al 1992[122]; Munchiando et al 1993[123])

6.11.2. Practice Statement

6.11.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations For stroke survivors with bowel dysfunction: • Education and careful discharge planning should be provided • Use of short-termlaxatives may be trialled • Increase frequency of mobilisation (walking and out of bed activity) to reduce constipation • Use of the bathroom rather than use of bed pans should be encouraged • Use of containment aids to assist with social continence where continence is unachievable

6.12. 13- psychiatry

6.12.1. 13.1 - Treatment for Emotional distress

6.12.1.1. Weak Recommendation

6.12.1.1.1. For stroke survivors with emotionalism, antidepressant medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants maybe useful. (Hackett et al 2010 [128])

6.12.2. 13.2 - Prevention of depression

6.12.2.1. Weak Recommendation

6.12.2.1.1. For stroke survivors, psychological strategies (e.g. problem solving, motivational interviewing) may be used to prevent depression. (Hackett et al 2008[137])

6.12.2.2. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

6.12.2.2.1. For stroke survivors, routine use of antidepressants to prevent post-stroke depression is not recommended. (Hackett et al 2008 [137])

6.12.3. 13.3 - Treatment for depression

6.12.3.1. Strong Recommendation

6.12.3.1.1. For stroke survivors withdepression or depressive symptoms,antidepressants, which includes SSRIs should be considered.There is no clear evidence that particular antidepressants produce greater effects than others and will vary according to the beneft and risk profle of the individual. (Mead et al 2012 [148]; Hackett et al 2008[155])

6.12.3.2. Weak Recommendation

6.12.3.2.1. For stroke survivors with depression or depressive symptoms, structured exercise programs, particularly those of high intensity, may be considered . (Eng et al 2014 [144])

6.12.3.2.2. For stroke survivors with depression or depressive symptoms, acupuncture may be considered. (Zhang et al 2010 [153])

6.12.3.3. Weak Recommendation AGAINST

6.12.3.3.1. For stroke survivors with depression, non-invasive brain stimulation procedures such as TMS have possible benefts for reducing depression but it is unclear which specifc TMS procedures are of most beneft. We suggest that TMS not be routinely used until more data are available. (Tian 2011 [149])

6.13. 14 - Deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism

6.13.1. Weak Recommendation

6.13.1.1. For acute ischaemic stroke patients who are immobile, low molecular weight heparin in prophylactic doses may be used in the absence of contraindications. (Sandercock et al 2015[158]; Whiteley et al 2013[160]; Turpie et al 2013[161]; Geeganage et al 2013[162]; Sherman et al 2007[166]; Dennis et al 2016[167])

6.13.1.2. For acute stroke patients who are immobile, the use of intermittent pneumatic compression may be used, either as an alternative to low molecular weight heparin or in those with a contraindication to pharmacological DVT prophylaxis (including patients with intracerebral hemorrhage). (Dennis et al 2013 [163])

6.13.2. Strong Recommendation AGAINST

6.13.2.1. Antithrombotic stockings are not recommended for the prevention of DVT or PE post stroke. (Naccarato et al 2010[165])

6.13.3. Practice point

6.13.3.1. • For stroke patients, pharmacological prophylaxis should not be used in the frst 24 hours after thrombolysis until brain imaging has excluded signifcant haemorrhagic transformation • For acute stroke patients, early mobilisation and adequate hydration should be encouraged to help prevent DVT and PE • For stroke patients receiving intermittent pneumatic compression, skin integrityshould be assessed daily • For patients with intracerebral haemorrhage, pharmacological prophylaxis may be considered after 48-72 hours and once haematoma growth has stabilised, although evidence is limited.

6.14. 15 - Falls

6.14.1. Practice Statement

6.14.1.1. Consensus-based recommendation For stroke patients, a falls risk assessment, including fear of falling, should be undertaken on admission to hospital. A management plan should be initiated for all patients identifed as at risk of falls.

6.14.2. Weak Recommendation

6.14.2.1. For stroke patients who are at risk of falling, multifactorial interventions in the community, including an individually prescribed exercise program and advice on safety, should be provided.(Verheyden et al 2013[168]; Dickstein et al 2013[169]; Gillespie et al 2012[174])

7. Discharge planning and transfer of care

7.1. 4 - Information and education

7.1.1. Strong Recommendation

7.1.1.1. • All people who have had a stroke and their families/carers should be offered information tailored to meet their individual needs using relevant language and communication formats. (Forster et al2012[3]) • Information should be provided at differentstages in the recovery process. (Forster et al2012[3]) • An approach of active engagement with stroke survivorsand their families/carers should be usedallowing for the provision of material, opportunities for follow-up, clarifcation, and reinforcement. (Forster et al2012[3])

7.1.2. Practice point

7.1.2.1. People who have had a stroke and their families/carers should be educated in the FAST stroke recognition message to maximise early presentation to hospital in case of recurrent stroke.

7.1.2.2. For people who have had a stroke, the need for education, information and behavior change to address long-term secondary stroke prevention should be emphasized (refer to Secondary Prevention chapter).

7.2. 5 - Discharge care plans

7.2.1. Strong Recommendation

7.2.1.1. Comprehensive discharge care planning that addresses the specifc needs of the patient should be developed in conjunction with the patient and carer prior to discharge.(Johnston et al 2010[16]; Goncalves-Bradley et al 2016[17])

7.2.2. Practice point

7.2.2.1. Discharge planning should commence as soon as possible after the stroke patient has been admitted to hospital.

7.2.3. Practice Statement

7.2.3.1. Consensus-based recommendation A discharge planner may be used to coordinate a comprehensive discharge program for stroke survivors.

7.2.3.2. Consensus-based recommendations To ensure a safe discharge process occurs, hospital services should ensure the following steps are completed prior to discharge: • stroke patients and families/carers have the opportunity to identify and discuss their post-discharge needs (physical, emotional, social, recreational, fnancial and community support) with relevant members of the multidisciplinary team • general practitioners, primary healthcare teams and community services are informed before or at the time of discharge • all medications, equipment and support services necessary for a safe discharge are organised • any necessary continuing specialist treatment required has beenorganised • a documented post-discharge care plan is developed in collaboration with the stroke patient and family and a copy provided to them. This discharge planning process may involverelevant community services, self-management strategies (i.e. information on medications and compliance advice, goals and therapy to continue at home), stroke support services, any further rehabilitation or outpatient appointments, and an appropriate contact number for any post-discharge queries A locally developed protocol or standardised tool may assist in implementation of a safe and comprehensive discharge process.

7.3. 6 - Patient and carer needs

7.3.1. Practice Statement

7.3.1.1. Consensus-based recommendation Hospital services should ensure that people who have had a stroke and their families/carers have the opportunity to identify and discuss their post-discharge needs (including physical, emotional, social, recreational, fnancial and community support) with relevant members of the interdisciplinary team.

7.4. 7 - Home assessment

7.4.1. Practice Statement

7.4.1.1. Consensus-based recommendation Prior to hospital discharge, all stroke patients should be assessed to determine the need for a home visit, which may be carried out to ensure safety and provision of appropriate aids, support and community services. (Drummond et al 2013[26])

7.5. 8 - Carer training

7.5.1. Weak Recommendation

7.5.1.1. Relevant members of the interdisciplinary team should provide specifc and tailored training for carers/family before the stroke survivor is discharged home. This training should include, as necessary, personal care techniques, communication strategies, physical handling techniques, information about ongoing prevention and other specifc stroke-related problems, safe swallowing and appropriate dietary modifcations, and management of behaviours and psychosocial issues. (Forster et al 2013[28]; Legg et al 2011[30])

8. Community Participation and long term care

8.1. 3 - Self-management

8.1.1. Weak Recommendation

8.1.1.1. a. People who have had a stroke who are cognitively able should be made aware of the availability of generic self-management programs before discharge from hospital and be supported to access such programs once they have returned to the community. b. Stroke-specifc programs for self-management should be provided for those who require more specialised programs. c. A collaboratively developed self-management care plan can be used to harness and optimise self-management skills.

8.2. 4 - Driving

8.2.1. Practice Statement

8.2.1.1. Consensus-based recommendations • All people who have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack should be asked if they wish to resume driving. • Any person wishing to drive again after a stroke or TIA should be provided with information about how stroke may affect his/her driving and the requirements and processes for returning to driving. Information should be consistent with the Austroads standards and any relevant state guidelines. • For private licenses,people who have had a stroke should be instructed not return to driving for a minimum of four weeks post stroke. People who have had aTIA should be instructed not to drive for two weeks (in accordancewith the Austroads standards). • For commercial licenses, people who have had a stroke should be instructed not return to driving for a minimum of 3 months post stroke. People who have had aTIA should be instructed not to drive for four weeks (in accordancewith the Austroads standards). • A follow-up assessment should be conducted by anappropriate specialistto determine medical ftness prior to return to driving (in accordance with the Austroads standards). • If a person who has had a strokeis deemed medically ft but has residual motor, sensory or cognitive changes that may infuence driving, they should be referred for an occupational therapy driving assessment. This may include clinic based assessments to determine on-road assessment requirements (for example modifcations, type of vehicle, timing), on-road assessment and rehabilitation recommendations.

8.2.2. Weak Recommendation

8.2.2.1. Driving simulation may be used for people who have had a stroke needing driving rehabilitation. Health professionals using driving simulation need to receive training and education to use effectively and appropriately, with knowledge to mitigate driving simulator sickness. (George et al 2014 [13]; Classen et al 2014 [15])

8.3. 5 - Community mobility and outdoor travel

8.3.1. Weak Recommendation

8.3.1.1. People who have had a stroke and have diffculty with outdoor mobility in the community should set individualisedgoals and get assistance with adaptive equipment, information, referral on to other agencies.Walking practice may beneft some individuals and if provided, should occur in a variety of community settings and environments, and may also incorporate virtual reality training that mimics community walking. (Barclay et al 2015[19]; Logan et al 2014[21])

8.4. 6 - Leisure

8.4.1. Weak Recommendation

8.4.1.1. For people who have had a stroke, targeted occupational therapy programs including leisure therapy may be used to increase participation in leisure activities. (Dorstyn et al 2014[22]; Harrington et al 2010[23]; Walker et al 2004[24])

8.5. 7 - Return to work

8.5.1. Weak Recommendation

8.5.1.1. For people who have had a stroke who wish to return to work, assessment to establish abilities relative to work demands, assistance to resume or take up work including worksite visits and workplace interventions, or referral to a supported employment service should be offered. (Ntsiea et al 2015 [25])

8.6. 8 - Sexuality

8.6.1. Practice Statement

8.6.1.1. Consensus-based recommendations People who have had a stroke and their partners should be offered: • the opportunity to discuss issues relating to sexual intimacywith an appropriate health professional;and/or • written information addressing issues relating to sexual intimacy and sexual dysfunctionpost stroke. Any interventions should address psychosocial aspects as well as physical function.

8.7. 9.1 - Peer support

8.7.1. Weak Recommendation

8.7.1.1. People who have had a stroke and their families/carers should be given information about the availability and potential benefts of a local stroke support group and/or other sources of peer support before leaving hospital and when back in the community. (Kruithof et al 2013 [35])

8.8. 9.2 - Carer support

8.8.1. Strong Recommendation

8.8.1.1. Carers should be provided with tailored information and support during all stages of the recovery process. This includes (but is not limited to) information provision and opportunities to talk with relevant health professionals about the stroke, stroke team members and their roles, test or assessment results, intervention plans, discharge planning, community services and appropriate contact details. It should occur prior to discharge from hospital and/or in the home and can be delivered face-to-face, via telephone or computer. (Legg et al 2011 [36]; Eames et al 2013[37])

8.8.2. Practice Statement

8.8.2.1. Consensus-based recommendations • Carers should receive psychosocial support throughout the stroke recovery continuum to ensure carer wellbeing and the sustainability of the care arrangement. Carers should be supported to explore and develop problem solving strategies, coping strategies and stress management techniques. The care arrangement has a signifcant impact on the relationship between caregiver and stroke survivor so psychosocial support should also be targeted towards protecting relationships within the stroke survivors support network. • Where it is the wish of the person who has had a stroke, carers should be actively involved in the recovery process by assisting with goal setting, therapy sessions, discharge planning, and long-term activities. • Carers should be provided with information about the availability and potential benefts of local stroke support groups and services, at or before the person’s return to the community. • Assistance should be provided for families/carers to manage stroke survivors who have behavioural problems.