after stroke careThe American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has been a leader in the field of medical research for heart and stroke care for decades. This includes research studies that help refine treatment guidelines for hospitals and clinics. But until recently, direct patient engagement in these research studies has been lacking.

Research led by Dr. Adrian Hernandez of the Duke Clinical Research Institute in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association represents a new area that directly involves stroke patients in these medical studies and clinical trials. PROSPER, which stands for Patient-centered Research into Outcomes Stroke Patients Prefer and Effectiveness Research, is one of the first projects awarded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. It is offered as a substudy to select hospitals that participate in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program.

PROSPER researchers hope to use their results to develop patient tools to reduce the risk of having another stroke as well as to determine what therapies would result in a better quality of life.

“Most grant proposals are built on aims chosen by doctors and scientists,” said Emily O’Brien, PhD of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a paper that was just released this week. She said PROSPER represents a departure in two ways:  The questions, concerns and outcomes the research team plan to tackle have been generated by patients, for patients; Stroke survivors and stakeholders are part of the PROSPER team and regularly participate to ensure that patient-centered outcomes remain the primary focus for this study.

“We are excited to see the enthusiasm our patient partners have brought to the table. PROSPER represents a new level of collaborative research, and we encourage other clinical researchers to be open to this type of direct patient feedback,” O’Brien said.

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