oa South African Health Review - Perceptions on and quality of clinical practice guidelines for stroke management in a rural health district - research

Volume 2018 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



Stroke is a catastrophic illness, with around 360 South Africans suffering a stroke per day, of which 110 die and 90 are left with a life changing disability, thus causing strokes to be the leading natural cause of disability and the fourth most common cause of death. Due to the absence of a cure for stroke, rehabilitation aims to restore function in an individual who has suffered a stroke. People living in rural areas are more vulnerable to developing stroke than their urban counterparts due to disparities in health care services and availability of health care providers. South Africa still lacks dedicated stroke units that concentrate services and care expertise for stroke survivors, and this is more acute in rural areas.

The use of clinical evidence-based practice assists with the provision of a uniform level of care across all levels. Existing evidence suggests a low uptake of clinical practice guidelines amongst health care practitioners because of lack of knowledge and/or the quality of the actual guidelines.

The aim of this study was to understand the perceptions of rural therapists of clinical practice guidelines for stroke management and to assess the quality of stroke clinical practice guidelines using the international Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE) guideline quality checklist.

Recommendations include the review and revision of the clinical practice stroke guidelines provided to rural therapists; taking into account the human and material resources in rural areas; and the development of a clear strategy and plan of action to disseminate and promote implementation of the guidelines.

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