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Research and research participation opportunities

The Stroke Recovery Association is often approached by researchers looking for study participants.

People affected by Stroke can derive benefit from participation in research projects. And by taking part, you would be contributing to a greater understanding of Stroke, or to the development of more effective treatments.

In some cases, research projects may provide access to new interventions before they are widely available. Even if participating in the research does not provide any benefit for you as an individual, it may provide benefits for other people who have a Stroke in the future. You are likely to benefit from the additional support and attention provided by clinical trial staff, who will have a thorough understanding of the issues and concerns related to Stroke.

All research requests are vetted by our Board to ensure they have ethics approval and will be of benefit to the participants and all stroke-affected people. Bona fide research projects by reputable bodies are supported by the Association.

Get Back to Work: The Lived Experience of Australian Stroke Survivors

Jacob de Wet is the son of a Stroke survivor and a student studying Psychology (Honours) at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) in Sydney.
He is conducting research to explore the experience of Stroke survivors returning to white-collar work.
Jacob’s father had a Stroke at the age of 52, when he was working full time in a senior position at a Pharmaceutical company and supporting a family of five. After his Stroke, his major goal was to return to work, and after 2 months of rehabilitation he did just that. However, the cognitive impairments he experienced and the stress of the job proved too overwhelming, and reluctantly he stepped down to a less demanding role.
Jacob’s father’s experience of returning to work after Stroke motivated him to explore how other survivors navigated their return to demanding, white-collar jobs. The literature focuses on physical recovery, but less is known about the psychological and vocational support, or lack thereof, available to and accessed by Stroke survivors returning to work.
If you are interested in participating in this research or want more information, please contact Jacob at:  theunis.dewet@my.acap.edu.au. For more information what’s involved in participating in the research please click: here

Development of a sexuality intervention for Stroke survivors and their partners: A Delphi study

4 out of 5 Australian Stroke survivors do not have the opportunity to discuss sexuality or receive information about sexuality after Stroke.  Sexuality includes sexual orientation, identity and roles, relationships, intimacy and reproduction.  We know that many Stroke survivors and partners of Stroke survivors experience difficulty and dissatisfaction with sexuality after Stroke.   Rehabilitation professionals report a lack of interventions to address these problems.

We would like to develop an intervention to address sexuality that can be provided to Stroke survivors and partners of Stroke survivors and we need your help!  Our study seeks to prioritise topics that should be included in an intervention and to identify the best way to deliver this intervention.  If you choose to participate you will be asked to complete 2 surveys. In the surveys you will be asked to rank different topics according to how important you believe they are for sexuality after Stroke. You will also be asked to identify any additional topics/ areas that should be included in interventions and to identify who should provide the intervention.  Your responses will be confidential and you will not be asked to share any information about your own experiences of sexuality.

If you would like further information about the study please contact us at:  Margaret.mcgrath@sydney.edu.au or by telephone 0466104440 / 02 9351 9213

To download information about the research study, click:  here:

To download APHASIA friendly information about the research study, click:  here:

HELLEN: A robot to assist patients to stand and exercise

More than one-third of people who survive a Stroke or head injury need assistance in walking and
some may never regain the ability to stand without assistance.  This affects the patient’s ability
to participate in rehabilitation, their long term health, and the ability to do social, work and
leisure activities.
You are being invited to participate because you have had a Stroke or head injury over 3
months ago, and now have difficulty with standing and walking. We will be offering an
exercise therapy program using a robotic exoskeleton (HELLEN) to try to find out if this type
of exercise therapy can assist people who have severe disability, to stand and exercise and
improve their health.

The Australian Institute of Neuro-rehabilitation based in Newcastle NSW is seeking volunteers for the above project.

For more information on how you can participate, download the Participant advertisement Form.

Effect of Combined Physical and SEnsOry (ComPoSE) training to improve arm function after stroke

Hunter Medical Research Institute in Newcastle are looking for participants to attend 4 sessions of measurements over 2 weeks, 10 sessions of treatment over 3 weeks, 1 measurement session immediately after the 3-weeks intervention and after 1-month. Assistance will be provided with travel and parking costs. Please note that the sessions will be intensive.

77% people demonstrate arm motor impairment following stroke, making everyday tasks like using a knife and fork, and doing up buttons, impossible for many. Around 67% also experience loss of ability to sense touch and know where their limbs are in space. This project involves training both movement and sensation with the aim of improving arm function for stroke survivors. This study will determine whether it is beneficial to deliberately do sensory and motor training together.

COMPOSE training could potentially increase upper limb function of stroke participants, improving quality of life and capacity to to return to work, leisure and family roles.

The researchers are currently seeking people whose arm movement and sensation has been affected by stroke.

You can participate in this study if:

(1) you are aged above 18 and had a stroke

(2) you can reach forward and grasp an object with your affected hand

(3) prior to the stroke, you were able to use the affected arm and hand to lift a cup and drink from it

(4) you live within 50km in the Hunter New England Health district

You will not be able to participate in this study if:

(1) you have a prior history of a neurological condition (central nervous system dysfunction)n other than stroke

(2) any peripheral neuropathy and

(3) moderate to severe difficulty in understanding language in its written or spoken form.

For further information, please contact:
Professor Paulette van Vliet on 0249217833 or paulette.vanvliet@newcastle.edu.au
Sandhya Urvashy Gopaul (PhD student) on 0240421602; 0422215134 or Urvashy.Gopaul@uon.edu.au

An investigation into patient/carer experiences and perceptions of allied health practitioners’ communication skills

You are invited to participate in a study investigating patient/carer experiences of communication with allied health practitioners. The aim of this study is to improve our understanding of what makes a communication encounter effective. The responses received will be used by the researchers to further develop a communication inventory tool, which will assist in the identification and development of student allied health practitioners’ communication skills.

The study is being conducted by Ms Natalie Pollard and will form the basis for the degree of Master of Applied Science (Research) at The University of Sydney under the supervision of Professor Michelle Lincoln, Deputy Dean, University of Sydney and Dr John Atyeo, Lecturer, Medical Radiation Services, University of Sydney.

If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to take part in a short interview with the researchers, which will be conducted in English. You will be asked questions about your experiences with an allied health practitioner and if you felt that they communicated with you well or poorly. You will also be shown a communication inventory tool and asked to give feedback about the items included in the tool. The interview will be audio recorded.

The interview will be conducted at a time and location convenient to you. This may either be at a patient advocacy support group meeting, at a workplace or in a public place.

For further Information please contact Ms Natalie Pollard on (02) 9036 7353 or natalie.pollard@sydney.edu.au

“RECOGNISE”

Brendon Haslam, a Physiotherapy PhD Candidate at the Florey Institute of Neurosciences and Mental Health is seeking participants for a study he is undertaking on the experience of upper limb pain in Stroke survivors.  Upper limb pain is commonly experienced post Stroke and there is little evidence of successful interventions for this (both medical and rehabilitational).

Participation for this study is done entirely online and the researchers are looking to recruit Stroke survivors (and non Stroke controls) both with and without pain in order to make comparisons.  Participation takes between 15 and 30 minutes, and consists of answering  a questionnaire (that will identify possible contributions of:  sensory, physical, psychological, body ownership/representation as well as impact of Stroke and pain if present). This is followed by performance of four interactive tasks.

If you are interested click here: http://research.noigroup.com/?_p=stlsere.

Aphasia Groups

Michelle Attard, Speech Pathologist PhD student at La Trobe University, is studying different models of community aphasia groups.

She is looking for people with aphasia after a Stroke, as well as their close family members or friends.

Do you live in or around Sydney? Was your Stroke one year ago or more? Are you interested in going to an aphasia group?

If so, for more information please contact Michelle on 0421 277 785 or m.attard@latrobe.edu.au

Improving the way bad news is broken to carers of stroke survivors

The University of Western Sydney is investigating ways of improving the way clinicians break bad news to carers of Stroke Survivors. We are looking to understand your experiences as a carer and the communication process that occurred following the Stroke.

This is an exciting opportunity to pass on your experiences to create better outcomes for future carers of Stroke Survivors.

We are looking for carers who have been caring for a Stroke Survivor for at least 12 months.

Participation involves a 60 minute interview where the following topics will be covered:

  • Receiving news from clinicians
  • Communication between clinicians and carers
  • Your experiences as a caregiver

If you have some questions and would like to know more about the study, please contact Christina Rodgers on 0452 232 076 or  17534459@student.uws.edu.au

Aerobic exercise and task-specific training to enhance recovery of the upper limb after Stroke

An important problem after Stroke is persisting arm dysfunction. This project aims to investigate the effect of combining task-specific training and aerobic exercise training to improve arm function in people with Stroke. The study will result in new knowledge to increase understanding of recovery of the arm and hand after Stroke, which will help to design new treatments to improve function. The researchers are seeking people whose arm movement has been affected by Stroke. Participants will attend the Hunter Medical Research Institute in Newcastle four times over a six month period for measurement of their arm and hand function, TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. They will also attend either the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus or the Hunter Medical Research Institute for one hour of training, three times a week, for eight weeks. Assistance is available with travel and parking costs.

For further information contact Professor Paulette van Vliet on 02 4921 7833 or paulette.vanvliet@newcastle.edu.au

Physical activity & participation in adults living in the community following acquired brain injury (ABI):

 The relationship with self-efficacy, activity perceptions & mobility measures

We are conducting a research study into physical activity after a stroke or brain injury.

How do you feel about physical activity?

Are you confident? Or maybe less confident?

How active are you?

We want to know!

To find out more please contact:

Taryn Jones    Email: taryn.jones@mq.edu.au

Phone: (02) 9850 9077

Study Chief Investigator:  Prof Catherine Dean

Study Co-investigators: Taryn Jones, Dr Julia Hush & Dr Blake Dear

Macquarie University Faculty of Human Sciences

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