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From the beginning of the Stroke Support Organisation Faculty Tool (SSOFT) project the needs of the members of the Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) has been central to the whole process.

The needs of the people who would use SSOFT, was a focus at the last SAFE Working Conference in Zagreb (December 2018) where half a day was dedicated to gaining insight and feedback from the numerous member who attended. One of the many SAFE members who were enthused by this project and volunteered to be part of the User Acceptance Testing Group was Nenad Nikolić from Moždani Udar, the Serbian Stroke Association.

Nenad has worked as a Medical Technician in a Neurology ward in the General Hospital in Ćuprija Serbia, for the past 15 years where he has worked with many stroke patients over the years. Nenad became an active member of the Serbian Stroke Association due to his own personal experience, when his mother suffered a stroke ten years ago.

We caught up with Nenad at the SAFE Regional Conference in Prague to ask him about his SSOFT experience so far.

When SSOFT was presented at the SAFE Working Conference last year what sparked your interest?

SSOFT attracted my attention as I wanted to see how it fitted with my experience as a medical technician working with stroke patients. I saw the potential for this tool as a valuable resource and therefore I volunteered to become a tester of SSOFT. I also had a strong personal motivation to participate as I wanted to learn more about advocacy to help further develop our SSO’s activities.

How have you found the User Acceptance Testing process?

All in all, testing this tool is a very interesting experience and much can be learned.So far, I have tested four out of six modules and after each testing session I have sent my observations and recommendations to the project team. I have had a lot of ideas and recommendations which I shared with the team and I am pleased to say a lot of them have been accepted. The opinion of the people who test the program is important. Therefore, SSOFT is exactly what should be: a tool “for our members by our members”.

Can you briefly describe SSOFT to those who haven’t used it yet?

SSOFT is an e-learning toolkit for organisations that deal with stroke. SSOFT aims to provide the necessary information for effective local and national campaigns to improve prevention, recognition, treatment and care of stroke. SSOFT will have six modules which are in smaller sub-sections which displays the information on slides, like a PowerPoint presentation. The modules also have a lot of video materials where members of stroke organisations or stroke survivors share their experiences, which is certainly of great help. The video clips are in English and are easy to understand. There are also activities and quizzes which keeps things interesting. It is very interactive.

What is your overall impression of SSOFT?

My general impressions are very good, and I find that the entire interface simple and easy to use. The text is easy to read and see, there is also sound that follows the text (a voiceover in English language). All audio-visual content is understandable and can be easily used by people who have suffered stroke, which is very important.The language used is simple, without too many medical terms, so non-medical worker will understand it. As far as content is concerned, it’s very useful and it has plenty of valuable information (from what it takes to start the local Stroke Support Organisation, to recommendations for successful campaigns). From what I have seen so far, I can say that the content “hits the target”.

Would you recommend other people use SSOFT?

Of course! If you are stroke survivor or carer or member of an organisation which deals with stroke, SSOFT is a valuable resource with plenty of useful information about how to advocate for either better stroke prevention or treatment or long-term care.