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Efficacy and safety of a TIA/stroke electronic support tool (FASTEST) trial: Study protocol

Annemarei Ranta13*, Susan Dovey2, Mark Weatherall3 and Dea O’Dea3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Neurology, MidCentral Health, Private Bag 11036, Palmerston North, 4442, New Zealand

2 Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

3 University of Otago-Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

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Implementation Science 2012, 7:107  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-107

Published: 31 October 2012



Strokes are a common cause of adult disability and mortality worldwide. Transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) are associated with a high risk of subsequent stroke, and rapid intervention has the potential to reduce stroke burden. This study will assess a novel electronic decision support (EDS) tool to allow general practitioners (GPs) to implement evidence-based care rapidly without full reliance on specialists.


This is a cluster randomized controlled trial comparing TIA/stroke management of GPs with access to the EDS tool versus usual care. The intervention period is 12 months with a 3-month follow-up period for individual patients. Primary outcomes consist of stroke within 90 days of presenting event and adherence to the New Zealand national TIA guideline.


A positive study will provide strong evidence for widespread implementation of this tool in practice and has the potential to improve key outcomes for patients and reduce the burden of stroke.

Trial registration

Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611000792921

Stroke; Ischaemic Attack; Transient (TIA); Electronic Decision Support (EDS); Decision Support Techniques; Decision Making; Computer-Assisted; Delivery of Healthcare; Integrated