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ReTrain project celebrating triple success

Posted on October 20th 2016

The ReTrain project, supported by PenCLAHRC and the Stroke Association, has been investigating the effectiveness of a community-based rehabilitation training programme for people who have had a stroke.  With the pilot trial nearing completion, the team are celebrating three key successes.

The team, led by Professor Sarah Dean, have had their protocol paper published in BMJ Open. The paper, outlining the trial processes, represents the first key output from this important pilot feasibility trial and is a significant step towards answering the original research question.

This question was raised by a stroke survivor taking part in the PenCLAHRC question generation process – he wanted to know whether he should be following a popular, but untested, approach to stroke rehabilitation called ARNI.

From the generation of the research question through to consultation on design and delivery, public and patient input has shaped and steered the project  - with 50 stroke survivors volunteering to taking part in the pilot trail. In recognition of this significant level of Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI), the UK Stroke Forum will be awarding Professor Sarah Dean the PCPI prize at their forthcoming conference in November. This award acknowledges the excellent and robust PCPI approach the team has taken throughout the research process.

Leader of the study, Professor Sarah Dean said:

“Receiving the PCPI prize is great testament to our approach to public engagement within the CLAHRC and clearly demonstrates that we’re doing high quality research that matters to patients and members of the public.”

An additional success is being celebrated by Laura Hollands, a placement training year student from the Medical Science undergraduate programme, who has been awarded the Quintiles Women in Science prize. Laura, who supports the ReTrain trial, is being recognised for her professionalism and leadership, and her ambassadorial role within Science.

Dr Raff Calitri, Trial Manager of the study said:

“It’s really great to get these three successes. The PCPI prize reflects all the hard work everyone associated with the project has put in to make sure the trial is right for stroke survivors. We’re also delighted for Laura – she has done a great job supporting ReTrain and we’re pleased that this activity has contributed towards her well-deserved prize.”

The ReTrain project is nearing completion - the training programmes are complete and follow-up outcome measurements have been collected. The project is now in the data analysis stage with results of the pilot trial expected in early 2017. To read more about the project, please visit our project page.

Strokes are the third largest cause of death in the UK and approximately 110,000 people have a stroke each year in this country.  Strokes are the leading cause of disability in adults.  Of the 900,000 people in this country who have had a stroke, 300,000 live with moderate to severe disability. Due to the long-term impact strokes have on the patient, their family and carers, offering continuing support is a priority.

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