Acute stroke research: challenges and opportunities for nurses
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Acute stroke research: challenges and opportunities for nurses

Joanne McCormack Lead nurse and deputy manager, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) West Midlands Stroke Research Network, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Hannah Reay Lead research nurse, NIHR Birmingham and the Black Country Comprehensive Local Research Network.

Clinical research in the early acute phase of stroke is inherently complex, but is crucial to improve diagnosis, treatment and care of patients. This article explores the challenges faced by nurses in determining the eligibility of patients who have experienced stroke and obtaining informed consent from patients for inclusion in a clinical research study. It highlights the role of clinical nurses in ensuring patients and their representatives are offered opportunities to participate in research and are supported. In addition, the article illustrates how clinical and research staff jointly assure the safety of patients and the integrity of the research data. Examples of how acute stroke studies provide an opportunity to embed research into everyday nursing practice, thereby enabling nurses to advocate for quality evidence-based patient care, are illustrated.

Nursing Standard. 27, 32, 39-45. doi: 10.7748/ns2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 08 August 2012

Accepted: 29 January 2013