The Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care are intended to provide up-to-date evidence-based guidelines for the prevention and management of stroke. The goal of disseminating and implementing these recommendations is to reduce practice variations in the care of stroke patients across Canada, and to reduce the gap between knowledge and practice. Recommendations are updated every two years to ensure they continue to reflect contemporary stroke research evidence and leading expert opinion. Each update involves critical review of the current medical literature, which informs decisions regarding modification of the recommendations and the performance measures used to assess their impact. Every attempt is made to coordinate with other Canadian groups who are developing guidelines that relate to stroke, such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation and diabetes.
This is the fourth edition of the Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care, which was first released in 2006. The theme of the 2012 – 2013 update is Taking Action, and stresses the critical role and responsibility of healthcare providers at every stage of the continuum of care to ensure that best practice recommendations are implemented and adhered to. Taking Action will lead to optimal outcomes for each stroke patient by providing the best care within the most appropriate setting. This includes rapid and efficient access to diagnostic services, stroke expertise and medical and surgical interventions, rehabilitation and support for ongoing recovery and community reintegration.
Taking Action requires a committed team approach and strong coordination of care across regions and networks, with pre-hospital, acute care, rehabilitation and community-based healthcare providers working together to ensure optimal outcomes for patients and their families, regardless of geographic location.
Taking Action also applies to patients who have experienced a stroke, their families and informal caregivers. Stroke patients and their families need to actively participate in their recovery and openly communicate with their healthcare team. Patients and families must participate in setting the goals they want to achieve during recovery from a stroke, and share concerns, as well as physical, mood and cognitive issues with their team, which will lead to the care required for optimal recovery in all aspects of health.
The 2012-2013 content update focuses on
- Stroke Prevention including a new section on sleep apnea and significant updates on management of atrial fibrillation
- Acute Stroke Care including new sections on organization of stroke care and hemicraniectomy
- Mood and Cognition with updates on vascular cognitive impairment and depression
- Rehabilitation and Transitions of Care updates