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Skolarus LE, Sales AE, Zimmerman MA, Corches CL, Landis-Lewis Z, Robles MC, McBride AC, Rehman N, Oliver A, Islam N, Springer MV, O'Brien A, Bailey S, Morgenstern LB, Meurer WJ, Burke JF. Stroke Ready: a multi-level program that combines implementation science and community-based participatory research approaches to increase acute stroke treatment: protocol for a stepped wedge trial. Implementation science : IS. 2019 Mar 7; 14(1):24.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Post-stroke disability is common, costly, and projected to increase. Acute stroke treatments can substantially reduce post-stroke disability, but few patients take advantage of these cost-effective treatments. Practical, cost-efficient, and sustainable interventions to address underutilized acute stroke treatments are currently lacking. In this context, we present the Stroke Ready project, a stepped wedge design, multi-level intervention that combines implementation science and community-based participatory research approaches to increase acute stroke treatments in the predominately African American community of Flint, Michigan, USA. METHODS: Guided by the Tailored Implementation of Chronic Disease (TICD) framework, we begin with optimization of acute stroke care in emergency departments, with particular attention given to our safety-net hospital partners. Then, we move to a community-wide, multi-faceted, stroke preparedness intervention, with workshops led by peer educators, over 2 years. Measures of engagement of the safety-net hospital and the feasibility and sustainability of the implementation strategy as well as community intervention reach, dose delivered, and satisfaction will be collected. The primary outcome is acute stroke treatment rates, which includes both intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, and endovascular treatment. The co-secondary outcomes are intravenous tissue plasminogen activator treatment rates and the proportion of stroke patients who arrive by ambulance. DISCUSSION: If successful, Stroke Ready will increase acute stroke treatment rates through emergency department and community level interventions. The stepped wedge design and process evaluation will provide insight into how Stroke Ready works and where it might work best. By exploring the relative effectiveness of the emergency department optimization and the community intervention, we will inform hospitals and communities as they determine how best to use their resources to optimize acute stroke care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial Identifier NCT03645590 .

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