When I was asked to review this three set DVD series regarding stroke, I was not sure what to expect. The product comes out of Stroke Education Limited, a group which is based in New Zealand and chaired by Professor Valery Feigin, M.D., Ph.D., FAAN. To his credit , it has received endorsements by the World Stroke Federation and the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation. The series is divided into three sections. The first is entitled: "Understanding Stroke: Expert Advice," and is sub-divided further into two chapters, "Understanding Stroke," and "Experts Advice." The first chapter is narrated on-screen by Dr. Feigin and covers a variety of topics. The 40 minute running time provides fairly detailed explanations of various aspects of stroke pathology, risk factors, treatment, including diagnostic work-up, as well as, prognosis and outcome information.
The next section (Chapter 2), on "Experts Advice", runs the gamut from commentaries on smoking to the importance of physical activity and nutrition as important issues germane to stroke prevention and recovery. Further commentary is provided by numerous other professionals including a "rehabilitation specialist", neuropsychologist, geriatric specialist, community nurse and neurologist. These sections, were, at times, a bit awkward in terms of the informal interview style used by the gentleman conducting the "experts interviews." In general, the information conveyed by the various specialists was helpful, although there were some disparities in the degree to which the speakers seemed comfortable in front of the camera.
The second DVD on "Home Care and Rehabilitation" was, by far, in this reviewer's opinion, the most information laden and potentially useful to persons with stroke and/or their caregivers. This DVD was divided into 3 chapters including: "Early Care and Hygiene," "Rehabilitation Exercises," and "Moving Around." All these sections were relatively brief and to the point. I would highly recommend that anyone with a stroke affecting motor function review this DVD. It would even be a nice review for general care staff in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities. Hopefully, physicians and therapists working in such environments are already aware of the information contained therein. I found the therapist's explanations to be simple and straightforward, as well as, quite understandable for the average lay person. At the same time, the demonstrative video with actual participation by patients who have had a stroke was very helpful in conveying information beyond just the narrative provided.
The 3rd DVD dealt with "Coping with Stroke Aftermath." This DVD was divided into 9 chapters covering a myriad of topics. Personally, I think that patient's self-report is so highly variable that there may not necessarily be a benefit to hearing what happened to particular patients when they had their stroke or how they reacted personally to their stroke, or to rehabilitation/recovery process, however, such chapters are included in this third DVD. Probably the chapters that are going to be most relevant in this reviewer's opinion are patient reports of the experience of hospitalization and the effect of stroke on physical functioning and ADLs, as well as, information on reducing risk of stroke and, in particular, caregiver experiences and advice for other caregivers.
Overall, I would rate this DVD series as highly useful to patients with stroke who have relatively preserved language comprehension and, certainly, to family members and caregivers of individuals status post stroke. I am not aware of any other CD/DVD series that so thoroughly explores the disease process, it's assessment, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as, prognosis and outcome.
I would recommend this video series be made available to stroke patients and their families both in acute care, as well as, in community re-entry and post-acute stroke rehabilitation settings. The DVD series is available through Stroke Education Limited, P.O. Box 59203, Mangere Bridge, Manukau 2151, New Zealand. Their website is: www.stroke.education.com. The cost for the entire DVD series is $99.95. I would note that the DVDs can also be purchased separately at a cost of $25.50, $50 and $35, respectively, for Discs 1, 2 and 3.
Nathan D. Zasler, M.D., FAAPM&R, FACRM, FAADEP, DAAPM, CBIST
CEO & Medical Director, Concussion Care Centre of Virginia, Ltd. and Tree of Life Services