This is the true cost of ‘stroke knowledge gaps’

Over 14 million UK adults don’t know where a stroke occurs, according to new research.

By Nik Farah
Tuesday, 30 April, 2019, 10:13
Stroke knowledge gaps are leading to a lack of support for stroke survivors

Recent data collated by The Stroke Association found that over a quarter of the population don’t know that a stroke occurs in the brain – highlighting a lack of knowledge around the UK’s leading cause of disability.

While nearly half of UK adults know someone who has had a stroke, most admit to a lack of awareness and understanding needed to support stroke survivors in their recovery. In a separate survey of stroke survivors, 85 per cent said the people they had daily contact with did not understand the impact of the stroke.

The charity published these findings recently to mark the launch of its newest campaign, Rebuilding Lives, which aims to showcase the challenges faced by stroke survivors and those who support them with their recoveries. Other findings reveal the damaging effects that stroke can have on social networks and relationships. More than one in 10 respondents admitted to seeing the survivor less after the latter had a stroke, and one in six admitted to spending less time a stroke survivor because they perceived them as not being the same person following the stroke.

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Chris Larkin, director at the Stroke Association, said: “A stroke happens in the control centre for who we are and what we can do. The impact can vary, and can be anything from wiping out your speech and physical abilities, to affecting your emotions and personality. So, it’s a real challenge for everyone as they come to grips with this sudden and life changing event. With over 1.2 million stroke survivors living in the UK, these findings highlight the need to understand the impact of stroke to better support loved ones.”