Newspaper article

Title: Innovative ways to provide social support for engagement in physical activities after stroke

This project started with a desire to help people who have had a stroke to maintain recovery and live a life they would like to live.

Stroke is the main cause of complex adult disability and impairments. Strong evidence showing that physical activity can influence general health and prevents further stroke. However long-term engagement in physical activities after the rehabilitation to maintain recovery and for health benefit presents a healthcare challenge. People who have had a stroke have difficulty in remaining active after the support provided from rehabilitation is withdrawn.

It is important to find out the problems in the process of stroke treatment and the reason why stroke survivors stop doing exercise. Research is undertaken by in-depth interviews with stroke survivors.

From the research, we found out there is no transition between hospital and home. Also, stroke survivors don’t have pathways to access healthy activity services.

Actually, there are organizations providing community based healthy activities services. However they don’t link with the health service. Service design can help those different parts link together in order to provide a continued and extended service system. Therefore, it is highly recommended to tie up hospital rehabilitation to community based health service and use personal link workers to connect stroke survivors to those services.

What’s next?

We believe this will be ideal for stroke survivors. This service is really doable and highly valued if it can have funding. It will be a good example on how social support engages in helping people to maintain recovery and improve general health. And it can be referred to other disease as a social prescribing as well.

Project question

Can we use design as a way to bring people who have had a stroke together to provide social support for physical activities?

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About Hazel White

Director, Open Change
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