Peninsula Health to participate in Monash University stroke rehabilitation trial

A project to address the research-clinical practice gap in stroke rehabilitation has been awarded $2.9M by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).  

Awarded under The Clinical Researchers initiative to support health care professionals to undertake research that will improve clinical care and practice, the collaborative project, PROMOTE: A Cluster-Randomised Implementation Trial, led by Monash University will look to bridge the gap between research best practice and its inadequate stroke rehabilitation implementation across Australian healthcare services.

Peninsula Health is a recruitment site for the trial, and will collaborate with Monash University to establish the effectiveness of an implementation package spanning education, skill training, onsite support and resourcing to increase adherence and provide new guidance on driving the implementation of evidence-based practice in stroke rehabilitation nationally for the benefit of stroke survivors.

More than 445,000 Australians are currently living with stroke, and more than half of these people struggle to move their arm, yet less than half of those who would benefit, will receive the recommended rehabilitation to address their arm and hand weakness. There is compelling evidence that delivering arm rehabilitation that meets recommended guidelines, would improve stroke recovery.

As a survivor of stroke Clive Kempson knows the importance of appropriate rehabilitation.

“When I was in rehabilitation following my own stroke, the therapy I received for my hand was rather limited. In reflecting on my own rehabilitation program, I wish that I had been given more choice in the direction of my recovery,” he said.

“This new grant provides an exciting opportunity for creating an open dialogue between therapists and survivors on what is available for therapy and the research evidence that exists.”

Dr Laura Jolliffe, Peninsula Health investigator, working with a young stroke survivor during his inpatient rehabilitation stay.
Dr Laura Jolliffe, Peninsula Health investigator, working with a young stroke survivor during his inpatient rehabilitation stay.

Lead investigator and occupational therapist Professor Natasha Lannin with the Monash Central Clinical School Department of Neuroscience and Alfred Health, says the PROMOTE trial will determine effective dissemination strategies to transfer evidence-based knowledge into routine care.

“I welcome the funding to work with clinicians to ensure the Stroke Foundation clinical guideline recommendations support best-practice arm and hand rehabilitation,” she said.

“Implementation of guidelines is complex, and our work will test the use of a suite of strategies to support clinicians in stroke rehabilitation.”

Stroke Foundation’s National Manager Clinical Services, Kelvin Hill, says the benefit of dedicated specialist rehabilitation after stroke is immense.

“No stroke recovery is the same, and not every stroke will respond to the same treatment. To increase the health outcomes of Australian survivors of stroke we need to share the knowledge between clinicians, patients, and rehabilitation specialists. This research grant is an important starting point for that, and we look forward to working closely with the incredible team behind this project.”

Stroke is common, with one in five Australians suffering a stroke in their lifetime. The inability to move your arm after stroke leads to considerable function loss. Decreasing the disability that arises from being unable to move the arm would make a beneficial impact on the Australian healthcare system. 

Key partners on the grant include Monash University, Alfred Health, Stroke Foundation, Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Macquarie University, Flinders University, University of Newcastle, University of Melbourne, and health services across NSW, VIC and SA.