Monday, 4 September 2017

Monash PhD student reveals barriers and opportunities to improve secondary stroke prevention

Muideen Olaiya
Recently awarded his PhD from Monash University's Stroke and Ageing Research Group, Dr Muideen Olaiya has identified for the first time specific risk factors for secondary stroke prevention.   

“It is well known that stroke is a traumatic life event that often results in severe and life-changing consequences,” Dr Olaiya said.

“Luckily for us in Australia, there are care options within Medicare to help survivors overcome these challenges.”

Dr Olaiya’s research, a clinical trial, investigated the effectiveness of these care options to better manage survivors of stroke after they are discharged from hospital to the community.

“Importantly, despite the fact that these care options are already embedded in the health care system in Australia, uptake in clinical practice remains poor,” Dr Olaiya said.

“In my thesis, I was able to identify the barriers and facilitators to the uptake of these care options in order to appropriately inform practice and policy decisions on how to better manage people with stroke in the community.”

In an Australian first, Dr Olaiya’s research has provided evidence that despite a robust and pragmatic approach to the management of stroke, secondary prevention outcomes remain poor in survivors living in the community.

“For instance, uptake of recommended lifestyle habits was sub-optimal among this high-risk population.”

“Similarly, our survivors of stroke had poor knowledge of risk factors and medications for secondary prevention, and significant unmet needs, especially needs in areas of post-acute care and secondary prevention,” Dr Olaiya said.

Supervisor Professor Amanda Thrift said Dr Olaiya had been a fantastic student, with six papers already arising from his PhD and others imminent.

“Muideen’s willingness to listen to feedback and make changes to his work based on these comments contributed to his success,” Professor Thrift said.  “He was extremely hard-working, having managed this clinical trial since he commenced his PhD.”

Dr Olaiya has just recently commenced a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Dr Olaiya expressed his deepest appreciation to his supervisors Professors Amanda Thrift, Dominique Cadilhac and Velandai Srikanth, his PhD mentor Dr Joosup Kim and colleague Lana Coleman.  He is also grateful for Monash University financially supporting his PhD program.

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