Psychological problems, such as depression or anxiety, are common after stroke and can have negative effects on stroke survivors. Although general psychological services exist (e.g. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)), there is a lack of psychological support available for stroke survivors. This may be because of the range of difficulties that stroke survivors might have which make it more challenging for services to provide effective support, consequently they may have a reduced quality of life.
This research aims to see if we can use existing psychological support services (IAPT) and adapt them to be useful for stroke survivors. We will develop an Implementation Package (pathways and training) that healthcare staff can use to ensure that stroke survivors receive suitable psychological support.
Firstly, interviews will be held with stroke survivors to find out about their experience and views of psychological services. We will carry out interviews with stroke services to find out how they currently provide psychological care, how it could be improved, and information on training. We will talk to psychological services staff about their views on delivering psychological care to stroke survivors and use this information to develop an Implementation Package of Psychological care, training staff to ensure they have suitable knowledge and skills for their role. Stroke staff will be trained to provide basic psychological support to stroke survivors. IAPT staff will be trained to provide high-level psychological support, taking into account the difficulties people encounter after stroke. We will collect information about the psychological care stroke survivors receive before and after the Implementation Package is implemented. Finally, we will carry out interviews at the end of the study with patients, carers and staff to find out their experience of these new pathways. We want to find out what they felt worked well, and what could be improved.