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The role of community nurses in stroke prevention

Stroke is a major cause of mortality and lifelong disability, despite advances in diagnosis and treatment. The risk factors of stroke are well-known and many are modifiable through lifestyle adjustments, however, the incidence of first-time stroke is increasing year-on-year. Primary stroke prevention is an important health promotion issue and successful implementation could lead to a reduction in the incidence of stroke and relieve a costly burden to the NHS. Nurses play an important role in providing information and advice to patients in secondary prevention of stroke, and could play an equal role in primary prevention. Providing advice on lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet and exercise all fall under the remit of the nurse in health promotion and in secondary stroke care. By providing a primary prevention service, community nurses could work as case managers for a larger multidisciplinary team and provide prevention advice and treatment.