V-STOP Testimonials

V-STOP participants from Lone Star Stroke Consortium spoke site Valley Baptist Medical Center were interviewed about their experiences with the V-STOP program.

Testimonial

1. Did your stroke knowledge change? If so, how?
It has definitely changed. I had a vague idea of what it was before. It has changed in the way that it helps you in identifying things, identifying what your risk factors are. It makes you realize how fragile we are. Before the program, I thought I knew a lot.

2. Do you better understand your stroke risk factors?
Yes, in a way I knew what the ‘main ingredients’ were, but with the program I learned the hard numbers. Also, identifying the risk factors guides you in where to start.

3. After completing the program, how sure do you feel you can follow a plan or that you can make a change?
Almost immediately, it helped in coming to terms with the fact that you had a stroke. Having discipline when following an action plan is a must. I feel that I am following the right path and making progress.

4. Has your behavior towards health changed? In a positive way? In a negative way?
It has changed dramatically in a positive way, in accepting the fact that I had a stroke. In addition, it has made me realize that there will be negative days, but staying positive will help you get through those days.

5. Did your blood pressure or diabetes improve since your time being on the program?
My blood pressure has improved. It is where it needs to be – before it was erratic. Not skipping medications.

6. Are you satisfied with the program? What did you like the most? What did you like the least? Yes, I am satisfied with the program. I honestly went in thinking I knew everything. The program helps in making you aware of where you are. One of the things perhaps that I did not like a lot is that the action plan lacks specificity. I felt that the structure of the action plan is asking for generalized responses. If it would focus more on day goals than on the long run it would help in keeping you accountable. If it was more gradable or a scale attached to it, it would help more.

7. Did you like the video technology used in the program?
Yes, especially for me that I was out of pocket and did not join in-person. The PowerPoints that were shared were visible; I had no issue with that part.

8. What would you change about the program to help us serve you better?
If anything had to be changed, maybe it could be the matter with the surveys. Since we were asked to complete many surveys, if we could have been given a hard copy for us to have when being administered the survey to follow along. It could help in not losing our attention when reading the questions aloud.

9. Following the six week intervention program, the participant developed his own daily chart and weekly goal attainment summary that helps him to stay engaged with the post-stroke recovery process. He applied self-management concepts and tools presented in the class.

In summary, he said: “Thank you for helping me take personal responsibility for my future and keeping me engaged in the process.”

Testimonial

1. Did your stroke knowledge change? If so, how? It didn’t really change. I had a stroke about 3 years ago so I knew what was going on.

2. Do you better understand your stroke risk factors? Yes

3. Now that you have completed the program, how sure do you feel you can follow a plan or that you can do something? I think I can follow one. I am taking my medications, being compliant. Also, going to swimming pool, which they are closing soon so I am going to keep walking.

4. Has your behavior towards health changed? In a positive way? In a negative way? Yes, it has changed in a positive way – taking medications and am exercising.

5. Did your blood pressure or diabetes improve since your time being on the program? My blood pressure has always been low; my diabetes has not changed. Has stayed within the same range.

6. Are you satisfied with the program? Yes, I am satisfied with the program.

7. What did you like the most? That it was in a group and everyone could give their opinions.

8. What did you like the least? Repeating in Spanish – it took longer and the fact that we didn’t understand.

9. Did you like the video technology used in the program? Yes, it was easy to understand and to use.

10. What would you change about the program to help us serve you better? Not having to translate in Spanish. Maybe the program can have a group for only English speakers and then one for Spanish speakers.

Additional comments:

Patient enjoyed workbook manual.

Testimonial

Antonio M.

“I was first approached by Ms. Olive Sanchez from the Valley Baptist Medical Center research department who clearly explained to me what the V-STOP study was about. I was instantly interested and consented to the study. The main thing that comforted me was to see all the other participants that, like me, had a stroke and were suffering the consequences. During the sessions, I became aware of my personal risk factors for stroke. I was educated on what type of diet I should be on and what exercises would benefit me. I was also encouraged to keep a log of my blood pressure. The sessions are interactive and made me feel that I was not alone. The sessions have been a central part of my recovery, and I would attend more sessions if offered. It would also be nice to see other people benefit from this type of intervention.”

Testimonial

Jenoneva G.

“I learned a lot from the program such as I need to eat healthier and exercise. I also learned to choose medications. I now exercise healthier with a stationary bike while I watch novellas. I liked the people in the program, sharing my experience with them and hearing about their situations. I wish there would have been more sessions.”

 

 

Testimonial

Chad Anthony Feast , V-STOP Participant

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length. Mr. Feast was interviewed through an interpreter.

1. Did your stroke knowledge change? If so, how?

Mr. Feast: Yes, I went from knowing just basic knowledge, basing it off from my mom’s health, to now feeling I understand much better about identifying and managing risk factors.

2. Now that you have completed the program, how sure do you feel you can follow a plan?

Mr. Feast : It can be done. Yes, if you know or find the right information it encourages you to be willing to do something about it. In a sense, by you managing your health there is less pressure, meaning that it lets you know that you took it upon yourself to make that change – there was initiative by you.

3.  Has your behavior towards health changed? In a positive way? In a negative way?

Mr. Feast : I have noticed that my attitude has changed in a positive way. The program has helped me know that I am not alone doing this.

4.  Did your blood pressure or diabetes improve since being on the program?

Mr. Feast : My blood pressure and diabetes have been on the lower spectrum. Also, I have noticed that I have learned to control stress better. The program confirmed for me that several activities like deep breathing and listening to music can lower my stress.

5.  Are you satisfied with the program?

Mr. Feast : I liked pretty much everything about the program. I liked the one to one aspect about the and the group sessions – enjoyed the good support that the program offered and letting you know that they are on your side. Also, the education content that it provided.

6.  What would you change about the program to help us serve you better?

Mr. Feast : If I had to change or add anything, it would be adding more sessions and a little more education.

Testimonial

Katina Matthews, V-STOP Participant

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length. Ms. Mathews was interviewed through an interpreter.

1. Did your stroke knowledge change? If so, how?

Ms. Matthews: I did not know what caused my stroke, but now I know what to do. Check yourself if you have hypertension, diabetes – in a sense, check yourself for everything because all of these illnesses work hand-in-hand.

2. Has your behavior towards health changed? In a positive way? In a negative way?

Ms. Matthews: Yes, I have calmed down, my family has noticed. My son has mentioned that when I used to get mad or upset, hell would break loose. Now I try not to get upset, I know that it’s not worth it; in those cases I think about the worst case scenarios that it could have been worse.

3. Did your blood pressure or diabetes improve since your time being on the program?

Ms. Matthews: I am taking medication for my blood pressure and it has been controlled. However, my sugar (diabetes) has not. It has been high, and doctors are trying to find out why it does not go down. I have joined a class through Harris Health that is teaching me what to eat.

4. Are you satisfied with the program?

Ms. Matthews: I am very satisfied with the program. I liked the fact that we were allowed to talk and to help each other. I think the program is too short and I wish it would be a little longer.

5. Did you like the video technology used in the program?

This participant did not use the video portion for her individual sessions; however, Ms. Matthews said she enjoyed connecting with the other site via the ZOOM app. For her that meant she was able to learn from other people what they are doing to manage their risk factors. Everyone, even those who weren’t here physically in our location, were able to share and learn from everyone.

6. What would you change about the program to help us serve you better?

Ms. Matthews: I think you should go out to other sites and advertise this more, as well as put up flyers with information about our topics. There are still many people out there that do not know about their illness and are unaware of what they can do.

7. Any additional comments?

Ms. Matthews: I like that individuals could ask questions and share any thoughts about themselves and how they are living with their illness. I enjoyed the learning aspect about the program, not just necessarily coming from the interventionists, but also from the other participants present there.