Home-based therapy for stroke survivors

06 May 2013

Research into a new home-based therapy for stroke survivors by a University of Auckland scientist was one of six projects to gain funding in recent grants from the Health Research Council.

Research into New Zealand’s high brain injury rate was boosted this week with six scientists awarded grants from the HRC to help improve the prognosis of New Zealanders with brain injuries.

Findings published in The Lancet Neurology journal in December 2012 showed that New Zealand’s traumatic brain injury burden is six times greater than even the World Health Organization estimated, and far higher than that reported in Europe and North America.

In New Zealand, only 11 per cent of people with stroke receive any rehabilitation therapy after they leave hospital. This is despite research that shows rehabilitation therapy is capable of improving hand and arm function months or years after stroke.

Research scientist, Dr James Stinear from Sport and Exercise Science at The University of Auckland will use his Feasibility Study Grant of $134,515 to evaluate a new home-coach model of therapy for stroke survivors.

“There are tens of thousands of people living with stroke in our community who have an untapped capacity to recover,” said Dr Stinear. “The objective of this study is to test and design a ‘home-therapy’ protocol.

“This will involve a physiotherapist assessing the therapy needs of a person with stroke and training a family member, friend or other volunteer as a ‘home-coach’ to deliver daily therapy in the home,” he said.

Another University of Auckland to receive a Feasibility Study Grant from the HRC this year was Associate Professor Nicola Dalbeth, for ‘Allopurinol for prevention of gout: A feasibility study”, for 9 months, $144,506.

For more information contact;

Suzi Phillips Media Relations Advisor Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences The University of Auckland s.phillips@auckland.ac.nz Mob 021 416 396 Phone +64 9 373 7599 ext 87383