Mental Health Nurses; Meeting the psychological needs of stroke survivors
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Introduction: The National Stroke Strategy-2007 and Accelerated Stroke Improvement metrics state that 40% of all stroke patients should have their psychological needs reviewed within six months after stroke. In Nottingham this role is carried by a Specialist Mental Health Nurse as an integral part of amulti-disciplinary community stroke service. The aim of the study was to review whether a Mental Health Nurse led model meets the stroke strategy standard. Method: Routinely collected data from 426 patients collated over a 12 month period was audited. The percentage of patients who received a psychological assessment with the BASDEC tool was calculated and a review of the psychological interventions offered was conducted. Results: 90% of patients (n = 383) within the community stroke service were screened for mood disturbance. Patients who scored 5 or above (n = 144) were offered assessments and further psychological interventions. The main presenting symptoms were anxiety, panic, low mood and adjustment disorders. The majority of these patients relate to level 2 of the stepped care model for psychological intervention in stroke. Conclusion: Specialist Mental Health Nurses, operating within a community stroke service should be considered as a potential service model for meeting psychological needs of stroke survivors.