DOI: 10.3390/healthcare11233080 ISSN: 2227-9032

A Network of Sites and Upskilled Therapists to Deliver Best-Practice Stroke Rehabilitation of the Arm: Protocol for a Knowledge Translation Study

Leeanne M. Carey, Liana S. Cahill, Jannette M. Blennerhassett, Michael Nilsson, Natasha A. Lannin, Vincent Thijs, Susan Hillier, Dominique A. Cadilhac, Geoffrey A. Donnan, Meg E. Morris, Leonid Churilov, Marion Walker, Shanthi Ramanathan, Michael Pollack, Esther May, Geoffrey C. Cloud, Sharon McGowan, Tissa Wijeratne, Marc Budge, Fiona McKinnon, John Olver, Toni Hogg, Michael Murray, Brendon Haslam, Irene Koukoulas, Brittni Nielsen, Yvonne Mak-Yuen, Megan Turville, Cheryl Neilson, Anna Butler, Joosup Kim, Thomas A. Matyas
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management

Implementation of evidence-informed rehabilitation of the upper limb is variable, and outcomes for stroke survivors are often suboptimal. We established a national partnership of clinicians, survivors of stroke, researchers, healthcare organizations, and policy makers to facilitate change. The objectives of this study are to increase access to best-evidence rehabilitation of the upper limb and improve outcomes for stroke survivors. This prospective pragmatic, knowledge translation study involves four new specialist therapy centers to deliver best-evidence upper-limb sensory rehabilitation (known as SENSe therapy) for survivors of stroke in the community. A knowledge-transfer intervention will be used to upskill therapists and guide implementation. Specialist centers will deliver SENSe therapy, an effective and recommended therapy, to stroke survivors in the community. Outcomes include number of successful deliveries of SENSe therapy by credentialled therapists; improved somatosensory function for stroke survivors; improved performance in self-selected activities, arm use, and quality of life; treatment fidelity and confidence to deliver therapy; and for future implementation, expert therapist effect and cost-effectiveness. In summary, we will determine the effect of a national partnership to increase access to evidence-based upper-limb sensory rehabilitation following stroke. If effective, this knowledge-transfer intervention could be used to optimize the delivery of other complex, evidence-based rehabilitation interventions.

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