The George Institute for Global Health established in Australia in 1999 is an independent not-for-profit scientific research organisation dedicated to the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases and injury, through domestic and international programs. The George Institute has grown rapidly since its inception and now has offices in China, India and the United Kingdom. It undertakes a broad range of research that directly impacts on the health of millions of people worldwide.
The Neurological and Mental Health (NMH) Division, of The George Institute, focuses on neurological and mental health conditions that predominantly affect older people, in particular stroke, dementia, epilepsy and depression. The Division engages in large-scale clinical trials, epidemiological studies, operational research and the Australian stroke registry to generate high-quality evidence regarding the treatment and prevention of neurological and mental health conditions.
Stroke affects over 60,000 people in Australia each year, and cost over a billion dollars in health care. It is also a major cause of global disease burden for which there are limited treatments and is particularly high in China, India, South America, and Africa. Many of the treatments are expensive and not accessible to the majority of patients with middle and low incomes. As the main aim of stroke treatment is to improve blood flow to the brain and a simple way is to tilt the head. Currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend specific head position for patients with stroke.
HeadPoST has been designed to resolve uncertainty and provide reliable evidence to support a policy regarding the ideal head position in the acute phase of stroke. The simple head positioning policy has the potential of being widely applicable to all stroke patients over the world.