- Regularly checking temperature and blood sugar may improve stroke recovery
- Involving spiritual organizations may reduce health disparities among urban Black women
- Chinese culture supports family caregiving for stroke patients
Note: All Times are Pacific (PT). All tips are embargoed until the time of presentation or 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET each day, whichever comes first.
Embargoed for 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET – Abstract NS4 (Room 150)
Regularly checking temperature and blood sugar may improve stroke recovery
Keeping close tabs on temperature and glucose (blood sugar) could improve the recovery of stroke patients, according to research presented at the Nursing Symposium of the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.
After an Australian trial showed that 90-day outcomes are better when nurses strictly monitor and treat fever or elevated blood sugar during stroke patients’ initial hospitalizations, U.S. researchers assessed nursing and medical practices at five stroke centers.
39 percent of patients never had their temperature checked in the emergency department.
10 percent of patients ran a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (which is a high fever by U.S. standards) for more than 4 hours and 8 percent for more than 8 hours.
27 percent of patients ran a fever higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (European/Australian standards of high fever) for more than 4 hours.
One-third of patients had high blood sugar (more than 180 mg/dL) for more than 4 hours during their hospitalization.
Patients with normal blood sugar and those who had their temperatures controlled to less than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit were significantly more likely to be discharged with little disability.
The importance of moving fast to treat stroke patients with with clot busting drugs or mechanical clot removers may have overshadowed the importance of also paying attention to the basics, researchers said Given the time-sensitive ability of the brain to recover after stroke, ignoring temperature and glucose levels for even short time may have detrimental effects, researchers said.
Anne W. Alexandrov, Ph.D., R.N., professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis, Tennessee and professor, Australian Catholic University in Sydney, Australia.
Actual presentation time is 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016
Embargoed for 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET – Abstract NS2 (Room 408)
Involving spiritual organizations may reduce health disparities among urban Black women
Collaborating with spiritual organizations may help health professionals reach Black women who have heart disease and stroke risk factors and little health knowledge, according to research presented at the Nursing Symposium of the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.
Compared with other women, Black women have higher rates of illness or death related to stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight and obesity. To assess factors related to the ability of women to reduce their risk factors and utilize healthcare effectively, a researcher surveyed 132 black women, average age 45, living in midtown Manhattan in New York City.
The researcher discovered that:
Black women were more likely to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors (such as consuming a healthy diet, exercising regularly, controlling blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight) if they scored higher on measures of health literacy (the ability to understand and apply health information), self-efficacy (a belief in the ability to meet goals), and readiness for change (the extent to which an individual is ready to change lifestyle behaviors to promote health).
Black women in the study that actively participated in spiritual organizations had higher rates of morbid obesity than other women in the study. These women were less ready to change their current lifestyle to promote their health and less likely to have adequate health literacy, but more likely to have a high degree of self-efficacy.
All participants in the study who had low health literacy scores were more likely to have cardiovascular disease or risk factors and also less likely to seek medical care, take prescribed medication, or receive routine preventative healthcare.
Readiness to change one’s behavior to a healthy lifestyle can be impacted by community and social norms, and spiritual organizations are well known to positively impact behavior.
Interventions geared towards reducing healthcare disparities and improving modifiable risk factors among urban Black women may be more effective if conducted in collaboration with leaders in community spiritual organizations, the researcher said.
Millie Hepburn, PhD(c), R.N, ACNS-BC, SCRN, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Quinnipiac University, North Haven, Connecticut.
Actual presentation date and time is 4:15 p.m. PT/7:15 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.
Embargoed for 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET – Abstract NS3 (Room 408)
Chinese culture supports family caregiving for stroke survivors
Chinese cultural values underlie the willingness of family members to care for stroke survivors at home, so interventions to support caregivers should consider incorporating these values, according to research presented at the Nursing Symposium of the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.
Each year, an estimated 22.5 million people in China survive a stroke and 78 percent of them require home care. This study probed stroke caregivers’ perceptions of this responsibility within the Chinese culture.
Researchers interviewed 14 stroke caregivers, average age 58, seven tending a spouse and seven a parent. Eleven were women. All were first-time caregivers who provided an average of 14 hours of care each day.
Three themes emerged from the individual interviews:
Among all the caregivers, 64 percent accept their role as a natural and expected part of life, a perception deeply rooted in Chinese culture.
Among the spouse caregivers, 92 percent believe it is their moral obligation to care for a sick partner, and women believe caring for sick relatives to be their role in the family.
Providing support during adversity is viewed by 71 percent of caregivers as an expression of love among family members. Children caring for parents believe that caregiving is a virtue and a means of repaying their parents.
Xichenhui Qiu, B.S.N., R.N., Nethersole School of Nursing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
Actual presentation date and time is 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.
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- Join the AHA/ASA Support Network to talk with others going through similar journeys including depression after stroke.
- African-Americans and Heart Disease, Stroke
- Stroke Caregiver Resources
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