Online advice for the symptomatic management of post-stroke fatigue: A scoping review

Miller, Tiev, Stockley, Rachel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4441-6860, Drummond, Avril, Watkins, Caroline Leigh orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9403-3772, Georgiou, Rachel, Ahuja, Kiran Deep Kaur and Bird, Marie-Louise (2022) Online advice for the symptomatic management of post-stroke fatigue: A scoping review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research . ISSN 0022-3999

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Limited medical evidence for managing post-stroke fatigue leads stroke survivors to seek information through other sources. This scoping review aimed to identify and assess the range and quality of web-based recommendations for managing post-stroke fatigue.

Publicly accessible websites providing advice for post-stroke fatigue management were considered for review using the Joanna Briggs Institute's methodology. Using the search term “fatigue stroke”, the first two pages of results from each search engine (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) were assessed against predetermined criteria. Findings were reported in accordance with PRISMA-ScR checklist. Quality and readability were also assessed.

Fifty-seven websites were identified; 16 primary and 11 linked websites met the inclusion criteria and demonstrated moderate to high quality and high readability. Primary websites were curated by non-government organizations (n = 10/16), companies (n = 4/16) or were media and blog websites (n = 2/16). Additional resources were provided on linked websites . All websites provided non-pharmacological advice, with four also describing pharmacological management. Many websites included advice related to physical activity modification (n = 18/27) and energy conservation strategies (e.g. activity prioritization, planning, pacing) (n = 26/27). Direction to seek health professional advice appeared frequently (n = 16/27).

The quality of publicly available web-based advice for people with post-stroke fatigue was moderate to high in most websites, with high readability. Energy conservation strategies and physical activity modification appear frequently. . The general nature of the advice provided on most websites is supported by direction to healthcare professionals (i.e., clinical referral) who may assist in the practical individualization of strategies for managing post-stroke fatigue.

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