Objective: This study evaluated the educational practices of staff working in acute stroke wards in Australian hospitals, including the coordination and methods of patient education provision, post-discharge education and support services available, and the education and support services that health professionals would like to provide.
Methods: Health professionals who worked in acute stroke wards in Australian hospitals were surveyed about the stroke education practices of staff in their ward. Thirty-four hospitals returned a completed questionnaire via email or fax.
Results: Verbal communication and written materials were the most frequently used methods of information provision, Twenty-three (67.6%) wards developed their own written education materials, five (14.7%) offered group education programs, and 19 (55.9%) offered education or support after discharge. Fourteen (41.2%) wards had a particular staff member responsible for coordinating the provision of education to patients and one (2.9%) ward had a written policy on stroke education. The majority (70.6%) of participants would like to be able to provide more education/support services.
Conclusion: The educational practices of the Australian hospitals surveyed were variable, with improvements needed in the coordination and documentation of patient education and the available follow-up services.
Practice implications: Health professionals need to be aware of the importance of education in the care of patients following stroke. Patients' informational needs, while in hospital and after discharge, may be better met if staff in acute stroke wards had improved Communication and coordination practices and ensured that stroke education was appropriately documented and supported by policy. Crown Copyright (c) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.