Following the proven success of the Teleneuropsychology in stroke rehabilitation (TNSR) project, Safer Care Victoria’s Stroke Clinical Network in partnership with Monash University, is scaling the initiative to help improve outcomes for stroke patients in regional Victoria.
First tested at Echuca Regional Health in 2016–17, the project delivered an innovative model for neuropsychology services via telehealth technology.
So far it has had success in a number of areas including:
- improved patient access to neuropsychology services
- increased frequency of mood and cognitive screening
- greater confidence for clinicians in detecting and managing changes in cognition, mood and behaviour
- improved patient and clinician satisfaction with the provision of neuropsychology services via telehealth technology.
The result of a partnership between the Stroke Clinical Network, Echuca Regional Health and Monash University, the project will now be scaled to three additional health services in 2018.
About the project
The TNSR project aims to improve stroke patient access to neuropsychology services and increase the frequency of mood and cognitive screening.
The TNSR initiative forms part of the Stroke Clinical Network’s broader Optimising mood screening for stroke patients priority project.
Changes in cognition and mood are common for stroke survivors. Cognitive deficits may involve individuals experiencing difficulties in planning or problem solving during their daily occupations. Mood disturbance can include feeling low in mood or anxious.
If left untreated, these changes can result in prolonged inpatient admissions, and can significantly compromise recovery. On average in Victoria, screening for changes in their cognition and mood is undertaken only 56 per cent of this time.
It is recommended that stroke survivors with cognitive deficits or mood disturbance are referred to neuropsychology for further assessment. Access to these services in regional areas is often limited, which is why the Stroke Clinical Network is scaling this successful project to additional regional health services.
A multisite teleneuropsychology stroke rehabilitation service will be established at Monash University to provide neuropsychology assessment and treatment to the regional sites. This will be led by Rene Stolwyk the clinical project lead overseeing the delivery of this initiative.
We would like to acknowledge the work of Echuca Regional Health and Monash University in the evolution of this initiative.