The iPASTAR team are delighted to represent Irish Stroke Research at this year’s European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) in beautiful Lyon, France.

Geraldine O’Callaghan participated in a session titled ‘Rehab and Recovery’ where she presented findings from her systematic review and meta-analysis. This study explores the available evidence in relation to supports provided at transitions of care for stroke patients and their families and caregivers. Her findings suggest little change in practice over the last 10 years and poor comparability between the current research. More interestingly, her review found poor adaption of core outcome sets in assessing the effectiveness of interventions, despite best guidelines recommendations. Geraldine’s work garnered much positive attention, with the session’s moderators commending the use of Patient Public Involvement (PPI) and integrating the voice of people living with stroke into this study.

To conclude our time at ESOC 2022, Patricia Hall, Olive Lennon, and other members of the research alliance group INSsPIRE “International Network of Stroke secondary Prevention Researchers” hosted an informative panel session titled “Optimising Secondary Prevention by Non-Pharmacological Approaches”. Patricia was tasked with sharing her findings on reviewing current guidelines in non-pharmacological non-surgical stroke secondary prevention and discussing the gaps and opportunities found.

27 guideline documents were included of which 59% discussed modifiable attributable risk factors such as physical inactivity (N = 11), smoking (N = 11), unsafe alcohol consumption (N = 10), diet (N = 8), weight (N = 5), stress (N = 4) and depression (N = 2). Of the nine stroke audits/registries identified, only three (33%) included non-pharmacological, non-surgical quality indicators of documented provision of advice or information on the following: general lifestyle (N = 2); smoking cessation for current smokers (N = 2); reduction in alcohol consumption, where relevant (N = 1), exercise participation (N = 1) and diet (N = 1). The iPASTAR group along with our INSsPIRE collaborators are working to highlight the need for greater awareness of the value of non-pharmacological non-surgical stroke secondary prevention and this work goes some way in providing an additional context for further research.