Yarning towards life after stroke

March 03, 2021
Two new studies, focused on speaking and listening from the heart, will seek to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with stroke to self-manage their stroke recovery.  

Dr Heidi Janssen and Dr Di Marsden from the Hunter New England Local Health District each received $50,000 grants to kick-start their projects as part of the 2021 Stroke Foundation Research Grants round..  

Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee Chair Professor Amanda Thrift said Dr Janssen and Dr Marsden will partner with the community to gain knowledge and develop new supports to help survivors of stroke live well.  

“Sadly, too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are being affected by stroke,” Professor Thrift said.  

“Due to recognised disadvantage, the average age of onset of first-ever stroke is 54, 17 years younger than the non-indigenous population and the burden of stroke is 2.3 times as high.  

“We can do better.  

“These grants will enable Dr Janssen and Dr Marsden to begin their work and take important steps forward in addressing inequity in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These projects have the potential to pave the way for how we prevent stroke and other disease and help people be well into the future.”  

Stroke Foundation Seed Grants $50,000: 

Dr Heidi Janssen, Yarning up After Stroke - working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people living with stroke to take a yarning based tool for self-management of recovery. The Take Charge tool has shown to improve quality of life and reduce disability in Indigenous peoples of New Zealand. It will be adapted to be culturally appropriate and safe for use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. 

Dr Di Marsden, Let’s have a yarn about our bladder - partnering with Aboriginal people to implement stroke guideline-recommended urinary continence and lower urinary tract symptom care that is culturally appropriate and safe. The project team includes Aboriginal stroke survivors, clinicians and managers from the Aboriginal Health Unit and stroke, and university academics. This project will build on current implementation work in inpatient urinary continence care that Dr Marsden is leading. Together the team will develop interventions that address the specific needs of Aboriginal people post-stroke.  

Stroke Foundation has awarded almost $5.3 million to more than 200 researchers since 2008.