ESO, together with the patient organization SAFE, has published today its action plan for the implementation of evidence-based preventive actions and stroke services in the next decade.

Authors: Diana Aguiar de Sousa, Linxin Li, Else Charlotte Sandset

On 29 October 2018,  World Stroke Day, ESO and SAFE publish the Action Plan for Stroke in Europe 2018-2030, available for download free of charge, from the European Stroke Journal webpage1.

Novel methodological approach

This third European Stroke Action plan (ESAP) comes at a time when stroke remains one the leading causes of death and disability in Europe, despite the overwhelming evidence that this is a preventable and treatable disease, whose burden would be dramatically reduced if all the evidence based strategies could be implemented. ESAP has a comprehensive coverage including seven domains: primary prevention, organization of stroke services, management of acute stroke, secondary prevention, rehabilitation, evaluation of stroke outcome and quality assessment and life after stroke.

Seven working groups, one for each domain, prepared this document, under coordination of the steering committee. Importantly, patient organization representatives were included in all working groups. Besides, the draft documents were then open to public comments during a one-month period and the final workshop was streamed live, facilitating public scrutiny, both within and outside the society.

Definition of four overarching targets

The document includes an overview of the current state of stroke management in Europe, as well as specific targets and research priorities for stakeholders. Overall, 30 targets and 72 research priorities are listed in the plan. But, undoubtedly, one of the most important sections in this plan is the part with the four overarching targets that are expected to be achieved by 2030:

  1. Reduction of the absolute number of strokes in Europe by 10%;
  2. Treatment of at least 90% of stroke patients in a dedicated stroke unit;
  3. Implementation of national plans for stroke in all countries;
  4. Full implementation of national strategies for multi-sector public health interventions (healthy lifestyle, environmental pollution, socioeconomic and educational risk factors for stroke).

Implementation is being planned

While ESAP provides a road map for what should be the top strategic priorities of stroke care in the next decade, efforts are now directed at establishing an implementation plan.  An epidemiological analysis, currently in preparation, will contribute to this work.

Finally, the key research pipeline priorities are also discussed in this consensus document, as well as the need of commitment and involvement of the pharmaceutical industry, funding agencies and academia.

Prof. Bo Norrving, chair of the Steering Committee, believes “Stroke has an enormous potential to be prevented, and the burden of stroke can be significantly reduced by joint efforts from professionals, patient organisations, administrators, and governmental bodies. The earlier the targets can be reached, the better. While we are discussing and planning, patients continue to suffer and opportunities to prevent and treat are missed.”

In sum, the European Stroke Action Plan reviews the current evidence, identifies prioritized areas of research and sets the targets in stroke care for the coming years. This is therefore a document that concerns all of us, from stroke physicians to national and European stakeholders. We ask for the help and involvement of all of you in supporting this action plan to be fulfilled.

References

  1. Norrving B, Barrick J, Davalos A et al. Action Plan for Stroke in Europe 2018-2030. Eur Stroke J 2018 Out 29 [Epub ahead of print]

 

Stroke has an enormous potential to be prevented, and the burden of stroke can be significantly reduced by joint efforts from professionals, patient organisations, administrators, and governmental bodies. The earlier the targets can be reached, the better. While we are discussing and planning, patients continue to suffer and opportunities to prevent and treat are missed.

Prof. Bo Norrving

Chair of the Steering Committee