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Movies4Stroke: Short videos to improve outcomes among stroke survivors and caregivers

Approximately 67% of stroke mortality occurs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Pakistan, a LMIC, is the world’s sixth most populous country, with the population at high risk of strokes. The country does not have a single dedicated chronic care centre, making rehabilitation and post-stroke care for survivors and their families risky and complex.

AKDN dHRC and the Aga Khan University (AKU) Stroke Programme have collaborated to develop Movies4Stroke, a series of informative and educational movies for stroke patients and their caregivers. The movies are designed around conditions faced by stroke patients in a LMIC that lacks rehabilitation centres and chronic support systems.

Leveraging Pakistan’s 77% mobile phone density level, the project tests the effectiveness of a mobile phone-based video intervention. Five-minute videos on stroke have been developed and placed in a mobile application. Patients and their caregivers are shown the videos during multiple sessions at discharge and afterward. The videos aim to educate and support stroke survivors and their primary caregivers.          

mHealth technologies have tremendous potential in the area of chronic disease management, especially in stroke patients who have to manage complex, long-term post-acute care. The use of mHealth has been known to save costs, increase health literacy and increase awareness among health care providers and the community.

To test the effectiveness of the intervention, outcomes such as patients’ medication adherence; functional progress; blood pressure; caregiver’s knowledge; hospital readmission; and stroke-related mortality are being assessed. 

The project was led by Dr Ayeesha Kamran Kamal, Associate Professor, Neurology and Director, Stroke Fellowship Programme, AKU. It was funded by the University Research Council, AKU and implemented by the Section of Neurology, AKU in collaboration with AKDN dHRC. The project initiated in January 2015 and successfully concluded in June 2016.