BANGALORE: A recent study conducted on over 11,000 stroke patients across the country has found that nearly 60 per cent of employed people who underwent treatment for stroke either returned for part-time service or lost their jobs.
The study, titled ‘Indian Stroke Perspective Registry’ (INSPIRE), was conducted by the Indian Cardiovascular Research and Advocacy Group (ICRAG), a consortium led by St John’s Medical College and Research Institute in the city, the National Institute of Health and UnitedHealth, USA.
At the final investigators’ meeting of ICRAG on Friday, Dr Denis Xavier, principal investigator and head of the Pharmacology division of St John’s Medical College, said the data indicated very poor treatment available for acute stroke patients in the country. The study group of 11,001 was spread across 61 hospitals in 22 states, including Karnataka. “In 93 per cent of the cases, family members took care of the patient and they were all rehabilitated at home,” Dr Xavier said.
Most of the patients were found to have arrived at the hospital more than 10 hours after the onset of symptoms and 50 per cent developed significant disabilities around six months after discharge.
Minister for Medical Education Sharan Prakash Patil, who inaugurated Friday’s session, said there was a need for increased research-oriented training and preventive care. “Healthcare in Karnataka requires more funding and better restructuring,” he said.
Apart from ‘INSPIRE’, the research group also carried out two more projects on heart diseases — PREPARE and SPREAD.
Both studies underlined the importance of community health workers in treating heart patients, especially in rural areas. PREPARE found that the intervention of trained community health workers in rural households brought down smoking habits in around 8,000 people. SPREAD showed that intervention by these workers improved patients’ adherence to medication and diet, Dr Xavier said.
N Sivasailam, Principal Secretary to the Health Department, said, “We do not need more schemes. The existing schemes should be implemented properly.”