A network of sites and ‘up-skilled’ therapists to deliver best-practice stroke rehabilitation of the upper limb
Our partnership of clinicians, health providers, consumers, researchers and academics aims to increase access to science-based stroke rehabilitation of the arm and hand and achieve better outcomes for stroke survivors. We will deliver a knowledge translation hub, specialist delivery clinics, and a community of up-skilled therapists embedded in a range of health care settings. We will also develop an implementation template to guide future translational activities and delivery of science-based rehabilitation interventions.
Effective therapies are available to improve hand function after stroke. However, our national survey found that stroke survivors with impaired touch sensation are not receiving recommended best-practice therapy. We formed a partnership of clinicians, health providers, consumers, researchers and academics, with the aim to increase access to best-practice upper-limb rehabilitation and thus achieve better outcomes for stroke survivors. We developed a ‘knowledge transfer’ intervention and partnered with eight healthcare networks to improve implementation in existing clinical practice settings. With the support of a National Health and Medical Research Council Partnership grant, we expanded our collaborative team to create a centralised knowledge-translation hub and four specialist therapy centres. Our model is working to increase access through: education and upskilling of therapists; provision of specialist community services to complement existing services; embedding a community of up-skilled therapists in healthcare settings; and creation of a structure to support and sustain change.
Potential student projects
- Process and economic evaluation of an implementation science project to deliver best-practice stroke rehabilitation of the upper limb
- The role of stroke survivors and other stakeholders in the SENSE CONNECT partnership, and specialist therapy centres
- Delivery of best-practice SENSe Therapy via specially trained therapists and specialist therapy centres
- The relationship between somatosensory retraining and chronic upper limb pain in stroke: a multi-centre trial
The core team comprises a multidisciplinary group of experts in implementation science, stroke rehabilitation and service delivery:
- Professor Leeanne Carey, La Trobe University and The Florey: Occupational therapist, rehabilitation, neuroscience, implementation science.
- Professor Michael Nilsson, Hunter Medical Research Institute: Rehabilitation physician, knowledge translation leader.
- Professor Vincent Thijs, Austin Health and The Florey: Stroke neurologist, neuroscience, stroke services.
- Associate Professor Natasha Lannin, LaTrobe and Alfred Health: Occupational therapist, NHMRC Translating Research into Practice fellow.
- Associate Professor Susan Hillier, UniSA Health: Physiotherapist, rehabilitation, guideline development.
- Professor Dominique Cadilhac, The Florey and Monash University: Nurse, health economist, head Translational Public Health Unit, Australian Stroke Clinical Registry.
- Professor Geoffrey Donnan, The Florey: Neurologist, stroke management.
- Professor Meg Morris, Clinical and Rehabilitation practice, LaTrobe and Healthscope.
- Professor Leonid Churilov, Statistics and Decision Analysis Academic platform, The Florey.
- Professor Marion Walker, Stroke Rehabilitation, implementation, UK.
Collaborators and partner leads/organisations include:
- Professor Geoffrey Cloud, Alfred Health (metro public)
- Professor Michael Pollack, Hunter New England Health (interstate, metro)
- Professor Esther May, UniSA Health (interstate private)
- Professor Vincent Thijs and Michael Murray, Austin Health (metro public)
- Professor John Olver, Epworth Health (metro private)
- Professor Marc Budge, Bendigo Health (rural public)
- Professor Tissa Wijeratne, Western Health (metro public)
- Dr Toni Hogg, Barwon Health (regional public)
- Fiona McKinnon, St Vincent’s Hospital (metro public)
- Sharon McGowan, National Stroke Foundation, consumer advocate group
Take part in this project
Students who are applying to study at The Florey can register their interest in this project. Refer to our step-by-step guide to help you with your application.
Apply to be a participant
This project is open for expressions of interest from those wanting to take part in a clinical trial. Contact us to learn more about participating.