Functional Strength Training and Movement Performance Therapy for Upper Limb Recovery Early Poststroke—Efficacy, Neural Correlates, Predictive Markers, and Cost-Effectiveness: FAST-INdiCATE Trial.

This multicentre study, coordinated by UEA researchers, investigated whether functional strength training (FST) improves upper limb recovery early post stroke more than movement performance therapy (MPT), and explored neural correlates of clinical improvement in response to both therapies. There was no significant difference in upper limb improvement between FST and MPT and the study found no clinically important association between clinical improvement and change in the neural measures in response to either trial interventions. A substantial variation around the mean change from baseline for both interventions suggests inter-individual differences among stroke survivors in recovery and how they may respond to different physical therapies. Paper is published in Frontiers in Neurology.

Supported Communication to Improve Participation in Rehabilitation (SCIP-R)

SCIP-R, led by Dr Simon Horton at University of East Anglia, in collaboration with Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust, Addenbrookes Hospital and Norfolk Conversation Partners, and sponsored by South Norfolk CCG, aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of training stroke service staff to provide supported communication for people with moderate-severe aphasia in an in-patient rehabilitation setting and to collect data for economic evaluation.

The study demonstrated the feasibility of staff recruitment to the intervention and of delivering the supported communication (SC) training to a multidisciplinary stroke team. It also designed simple methods for ongoing staff support such as reflective learning logs, nudges in a pocket guide form or pens as a reminder to use SC. The study provided the opportunity of tailoring an intervention to service users with moderate severe-aphasia.

The researchers have produced a YouTube video which can be viewed on the study website (click on picture), to disseminate the outcomes. The results are published in BMJ Open.