Bridges research and development projects

Making the Bridges self-management programme more accessible for stroke survivors

A study that started in 2015 funded by the South London CLAHRC

The study aims to ensure that the Bridges Programme is accessible for stroke survivors who have cognitive, communication or mood difficulties. Our research has shown that this group of patients are less likely to gain access to any self-management programme. Inequity and lack of access to self-management support for some groups, particularly those with more complex needs, has also been highlighted by the Health Foundation.

The CLAHRC funded project

We will survey stroke teams who use Bridges to support people to self-manage and those that don’t, and explore the views of stroke survivors who have cognitive, communication or mood difficulties, their family members and the health and social care professionals who support them. We will also be observing interactions during rehabilitation to explore how self-management is supported when people have cognitive and communication problems. This intelligence-gathering exercise will inform the development of an adaptation of both the workbook and the training to help professionals understand how to support people who experience this particular problem. Any adaptations will be developed in collaboration with stroke survivors and will then be evaluated by re-interviewing and re-observing.

Updating the stroke book

In a separate piece of work funded by Bridges Self-Management, we are currently re-designing our popular book for stroke survivors. Aside from incorporating new and improved design features, there will be a greater emphasis on issues that reflect communication, cognitive and mood difficulties after stroke, as well as stories from young people who had a stroke, people who had their stroke a long time ago, and people returning to work after a stroke. 

We are grateful to the Bridges advisory group for their fantastic feedback and guidance in shaping the new book, and to Dyscover for their expert support with making the book accessible to stroke survivors with communication difficulties. Most importantly, we are indebted to the group of people who have volunteered to contribute and share their personal stories of managing life after stroke – their experiences make the book: Abdul, Chris, Deena, Ed, Eileen, Helen, James, John, Mel, Nick, and Scott.

To find out more about our published research