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Volunteers needed for stroke rehabilitation study

Posted on July 23rd 2015

A new research study is investigating the effectiveness of a community-based rehabilitation training programme for people who have suffered a stroke.  The training programme is called ReTrain, and the researchers are looking for volunteers in Devon to take part in the study.

Volunteers need to have suffered a stroke and been discharged for longer than one month following NHS stroke rehabilitation. They also need to have experienced difficulty managing stairs, slopes and uneven surfaces. The study is taking place at sites in Exeter and Newton Abbot.

The research study is supported by PenCLAHRC and the Stroke Association. ReTrain came about following an idea from a stroke survivor which was shared with PenCLAHRC.

The study will analyse how well ReTrain can help stroke survivors, their families and carers over the long term following a stroke.  ReTrain is based on the key principles of the Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury (ARNI) approach. A bespoke training regime is developed for each individual with the aim of improving functional mobility to promote and support self-reliance.

The research team are looking for 48 volunteers to help with the study. Those taking part will be put in to two groups – one receiving ReTrain and the other as a control group.

Dr Sarah Dean leads the study. She said:

“ReTrain has the potential to be immensely beneficial not just to those who have suffered a stroke, but to their families and carers too. It is a great concept with a wonderful provenance, coming as it does from someone who had suffered a stroke themselves. However, in order for ReTrain to be widely adopted we need to ensure that it really works, which is why it is so important to recruit our 48 volunteers.”

Anyone wishing to take part in the study can contact the study manager, Dr Raff Calitri on 01392 726047 or at r.calitri@exeter.ac.uk. Volunteers will be recruited up to Autumn 2015. More information about the study is available here.

Strokes are the third largest cause of death in the UK and approximately 110,000 people have a stroke each year in this country.  The most common form, ischaemic stroke, is caused by a blood clot narrowing or blocking the blood vessels so that blood cannot reach the brain, leading to brain damage.  Strokes are the leading cause of disability in adults.  Of the 900,000 in this country who have had a stroke, 300,000 live with moderate to severe disability.

Due to the long-term impact strokes have on the patient, their family and carers, offering continuing support needs to be a priority.

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