Background: Given the paucity of neurologists in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), task-shifting post-stroke care to nurses could be a viable avenue for enhancing post-stroke outcomes. This pilot study assessed the feasibility and short-term impact of a nurse-led intervention to manage blood pressure (BP) control in recent stroke survivors in Nigeria.
Methods: A randomized pilot trial allocated patients within one month of an index stroke from two participating hospitals in Nigeria to either nurse-led group clinic or standard care for 14days. Key study endpoints were successful execution of the protocol, subject retention, and short-term BP effects.
Results: There were no significant differences between the intervention (n=17) and control (n=18) groups at baseline. At the post-intervention clinic, patient retention rate was 100%. In the intervention group, both the systolic and diastolic BPs measured at home were lower than the clinic BPs post-intervention (127±12.88/78.13±19.26mmHg versus 137.50±23.05/84.06±9.67mmHg; p=0.05). However, there was no significant change in clinic blood pressure (BP) recordings in both the intervention and control groups.
Conclusion: It is possible to initiate a nurse-led group clinic intervention to address BP management among stroke survivors in SSA with good early retention of participants. A larger and longer-term trial is being planned.
Keywords: Blood pressure; Nurse-led group clinic; Stroke; Sub-Saharan Africa; Task shifting.
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