Dr. Terry Quinn, chair of OPSYRIS, earlier in the year released this message regarding the troubling times of COVID-19. While the situation is always changing and varies from place to place, much of the message is still just as relevant today.
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed stroke care and stroke research. My diary, which had been full of the usual mix of travel, grants, meetings is now a continuous block of clinical work – initially COVID and now stroke related again. Its been a tough few months.
As we enter the next phase of the COVID response, and the novelty wears off, the clapping fades and the rainbows are taken down, I fear we are faced with an even tougher road to recovery. Psychological research in stroke may be hit especially hard and I foresee something analogous to what I am seeing on the wards. The prognosis for many university departments, charity funders and specialist clinical services is, at best, uncertain. Without the necessary life-support, some of these groups may not survive.
Now, more than ever, the stroke psychology community needs to come together. If OPSYRIS can help, even in a small way to protect and encourage stroke psychology research, then I am keen that we do that.
In uncertain times, knowledge is power. I am hearing about lots of innovative new ways of clinical and research working – why not share these with your colleagues through OPSYRIS.
Support and networking are really important at the moment. We can’t have an in-person annual meeting this year, but we shall set up a virtual meeting.
The academic job market is not going to get any kinder and so I am keen that OPSYRIS continues to bolster CVs, for example with our Rising Star award – nominations please.
We probably all have questionnaire fatigue, but if we don’t respond to these requests, we can’t be sure our voice will be heard – links to some relevant surveys below.
These are my ideas for OPSYRIS in the time of COVID. I am sure you will have better ideas – let us know.
The psychopsychological effects of COVID-19 and lockdowns is a very important issue that is frequently discussed both in specialist and mainstream media. This earlier article discusses some of the studies in the field.
You may be interested in some of the ongoing research on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic from a psychological perspective. Many of these projects are using snowball sampling, so you may wish to share via your networks:
Our parent body, the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation, is planning a special COVID themed issue of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation journal. Plans are still at an early stage, but if any OPSYRIS members would want to contribute something around stroke then let us know and we can make the necessary connections.
The situation regarding the COVID pandemic is one which continues to keep changing with time and between countries, and even within countries. But the article below was written earlier this year with usuefull links to resources relating to stroke during the time of the pandemic.
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, which introduces so much change and uncertainty to both our personal and professional lives, we are all trying to keep a close eye on how the situation is evolving. There is a real danger of information overload and not everything that is being circulated in the public domain is useful or even true. With this in mind, you might find some useful resources following these links and/or might like to contribute to the information being posted.
Keeping up to date with COVID is a challenge. Yvonne Chun (previous winner of the OPSYRIS Rising Star award), Terry Quinn and others are working to keep the BASP pages regularly updated. Even if you are not a physician you may want to follow BASP on Twitter @british_stroke
Below are also some useful and aphasia-friendly resources for people living with stroke:
In the constantly changing COVID landscape knowledge is power. If you are aware of other useful resources or have developed local guidance that could be shared nationally via BASP then email Terry (firstname.lastname@example.org).