The objective of this Tier I project is to form a partnership of stroke patients, families and caregivers, clinicians, and researchers to critically evaluate existing rehabilitation treatments and develop a comparative effectiveness research question to determine the best course of treatment for physical rehabilitation post-stroke.
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States and affects 7 million Americans. Coastal South Carolina is described as the “buckle of the stroke belt” for having the highest stroke occurrence in the country. The majority of stroke patients are left with debilitating movement disorders that, despite multiple courses of rehabilitation, limit their activities of daily living and their quality of life. This status quo for stroke rehabilitation outcomes is unacceptable for patients, families, and caregivers.
The project leads are Drs. Seo and Woodbury, with engineering and clinical backgrounds, respectively. Both have extensive experience in neurorehabilitation and research focused on improving stroke rehabilitation outcomes. Team members will be recruited from the local stroke support groups; stroke research registry; Clinical Integration Group; and Friends of Research network composed of occupational and physical therapists, physicians, stroke patients, and their caregivers who strive to be up to date on current research. Once formed, the team will convene monthly to learn existing treatments and their outcomes and to discuss potential research questions that are critical for patients’ quality of life. Occupational therapy students will be involved in literature review of treatments’ effectiveness.