6 episodes

The International Journal of Stroke Rehabilitation edition was guest edited by Associate Professor Julie Bernhardt and Professor Steven Cramer. This podcast series is a compliment to this edition.

Rehabilitation Edition; International Journal of Stroke Guest Eds Julie Bernhardt and Steven Cramer International Journal of Stroke

    • Science
    • 4.0 • 2 Ratings

The International Journal of Stroke Rehabilitation edition was guest edited by Associate Professor Julie Bernhardt and Professor Steven Cramer. This podcast series is a compliment to this edition.

    How useful is imaging in predicting outcomes in stroke rehabilitation? Cathy Stinear

    How useful is imaging in predicting outcomes in stroke rehabilitation? Cathy Stinear

    Neuroimaging plays an important role in acute stroke diagnosis and management, but it is not routinely used in rehabilitation settings. Incorporating imaging information in rehabilitation planning may eventually translate to better outcomes after stroke. Here we review the prediction of outcomes after stroke using magnetic resonance imaging. There are clear and specific relationships between the anatomy of the stroke lesion and impairments at the time of scanning, and at later time points in recovery. However, most studies demonstrate these relationships in groups of patients at the chronic stage. In order to be useful for rehabilitation, neuroimaging needs to provide prognostic information for individual patients at a much earlier stage. Recent studies have used diffusion tensor imaging and functional neuroimaging to address this, with promising results. Combining neuroimaging with clinical and neurophysiological assessments may also be useful. Future work in this area may support the tailoring of rehabilitation for individual patients based on their capacity for neural reorganization and recovery.

    • 9 min
    When should rehabilitation begin after stroke? Julie Bernhardt

    When should rehabilitation begin after stroke? Julie Bernhardt

    Early rehabilitation is widely regarded as an important feature of effective stroke care. But what is ‘early’, and what kinds of therapies should, or can, we begin soon after stroke onset? In this interview, some of the barriers and drivers for early rehabilitation research and practice are explored.

    • 7 min
    Improving quality of life by increasing outings after stroke: study protocol for the Out-and-About trial

    Improving quality of life by increasing outings after stroke: study protocol for the Out-and-About trial

    Rationale
    Almost one-third of Australians need help to travel outdoors after a stroke. Ambulation training and escorted outings are recommended as best practice in Australian clinical guidelines for stroke. Yet fewer than 20% of people with stroke receive enough of these sessions in their local community to change outcomes.

    Aims
    The Out-and-About trial aims to determine the efficacy and cost effectiveness of an implementation program to change team behavior and increase outings by people with stroke.

    Design
    A two-group cluster-randomized trial will be conducted using concealed allocation, blinded assessors, and intention-to-treat analysis. Twenty community teams and their stroke clients (n = 300) will be recruited. Teams will be randomized to receive either the Out-and-About program or written guidelines only.

    Study Outcomes
    The primary outcome is the proportion of people with stroke receiving multiple escorted outings during therapy sessions, measured at baseline and 13 months postintervention. Secondary outcomes include number of outings and distance traveled, measured using a self-report diary at baseline and six months postbaseline, and a global positioning system after six months. Cost effectiveness will measure quality-adjusted life years and health service use, measured at baseline and six months postbaseline.

    Discussion
    A potential outcome of this study will be evidence for a costed, transferable implementation program. If successful, the program will have international relevance and transferability. Another potential outcome will be validation of a novel and objective method of measuring outdoor travel (global positioning system) to supplement self-report methods.

    • 5 min
    Stroke, cognitive deficits, and rehabilitation: still an incomplete picture. Toby Cumming

    Stroke, cognitive deficits, and rehabilitation: still an incomplete picture. Toby Cumming

    Cognitive impairment after stroke is common and can cause disability with major impacts on quality of life and independence. There are also indirect effects of cognitive impairment on functional recovery after stroke through reduced participation in rehabilitation and poor adherence to treatment guidelines. In this article, we attempt to establish the following: ● whether there is a distinct profile of cognitive impairment after stroke; ● whether the type of cognitive deficit can be associated with the features of stroke-related damage; and ● whether interventions can improve poststroke cognitive performance. There is not a consistent profile of cognitive deficits in stroke, though slowed information processing and executive dysfunction tend to predominate. Our understanding of structure–function relationships has been advanced using imaging techniques such as lesion mapping and will be further enhanced through better characterization of damage to functional networks and identification of subtle white matter abnormalities. Effective cognitive rehabilitation approaches have been reported for focal cortical deficits such as neglect and aphasia, but treatments for more diffusely represented cognitive impairment remain elusive. In the future, the hope is that different techniques that have been shown to promote neural plasticity (e.g., exercise, brain stimulation, and pharmacological agents) can be applied to improve the cognitive function of stroke survivors.

    • 9 min
    More outcomes than trials: a call for consistent data collection across stroke rehabilitation trials. Myzoon Ali

    More outcomes than trials: a call for consistent data collection across stroke rehabilitation trials. Myzoon Ali

    Stroke survivors experience complex combinations of impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. The essential components of stroke rehabilitation remain elusive. Determining efficacy in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is challenging; there is no commonly agreed primary outcome measure for rehabilitation trials. Clinical guidelines depend on proof of efficacy in RCTs and meta-analyses. However, diverse trial aims, differing methods, inconsistent data collection, and use of multiple assessment tools hinder comparability across trials. Consistent data collection in acute stroke trials has facilitated meta-analyses to inform trial design and clinical practice. With few exceptions, inconsistent data collection has hindered similar progress in stroke rehabilitation research. There is an urgent need for the routine collection of a core dataset of common variables in rehabilitation trials. The European Stroke Organisation Outcomes Working Group, the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Common Data Elements project, and the Collaborative Stroke Audit and Research project have called for consistency in data collection in stroke trials. Standardizing data collection can decrease study start up times, facilitate data sharing, and inform clinical guidelines. Although achieving consensus on which outcome measures to use in stroke rehabilitation trials is a considerable task, perhaps a feasible starting point is to achieve consistency in the collection of data on demography, stroke severity, and stroke onset to inclusion times. Longer term goals could include the development of a consensus process to establish the core dataset. This should be endorsed by researchers, funders, and journal editors in order to facilitate sustainable change.

    • 4 min
    Predicting activities after stroke: what is clinically relevant? Gert Kwakkel

    Predicting activities after stroke: what is clinically relevant? Gert Kwakkel

    Predicting activities after stroke: what is clinically relevant? Gert Kwakkel

    • 11 min

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