I am
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Assistant Professor Neil Spratt, Institution: The University of Newcastle

2013 NSW CVRN Research Development Project Grant

Years funded: 2014-2020


Despite higher levels of activity being associated with better stroke recovery, stroke patients on most rehabilitation units spend the majority of their day inactive and alone.

Laboratory models have suggested that environmental enrichment, such as providing equipment, facilitates physical, cognitive and social activity. This promotes rewiring of the brain after stroke and has been found to significantly enhance functional recovery.

Preliminary work on the use of environmental enrichment for stroke patients using individual (e.g. iPods, word puzzles) and communal (e.g. access to interactive gaming, computer, books/newspapers, jigsaws) enrichment in a rehabilitation unit has shown that it encourages patients to be more active. Greater activity during rehabilitation has numerous benefits, the most important of which is achieving better functional recovery, and subsequently, greater independence.

Neil's project, ‘Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity’ (AREISSA), is a Phase II trial involving four rehabilitation units that will determine the safety, feasibility and patient and staff acceptability of this model of environmental enrichment during stroke rehabilitation. Results from AREISSA will be used to inform a future large scale cluster randomised controlled trial to determine the effect of environmental enrichment on stroke recovery and stroke survivor quality of life.

You might also be interested in

Research Directory

Research Directory

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

Professor Robyn Clark, Institution: Flinders University...

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Ms Joanne Luke, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Professor Amy Brodtmann, Institution: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health...

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Dr Costan Magnussen, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Dr Esther Ooi, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Associate Professor Verity Cleland, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Professor Bruce Neal, Institution: University of New South Wales...

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Associate Professor Hayley Christian, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Strategies to optimise cardio-metabolic health

Strategies to optimise cardio-metabolic health

Associate Professor Melinda Carrington, Institution: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute...

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Could you be at risk of heart disease? Get your estimated heart age now....

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Information on how air pollution, heatwaves and bushfires can impact heart health, and what you can do to look after yourself. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

What is angina?

What is angina?

What is angina?

Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort that’s a symptom of an underlying heart problem, usually coronary heart disease (CHD)....

Your heart medicines

Your heart medicines

Your heart medicines

Information about commonly prescribed heart medicines. ...

Q&A with Dr James Nadel

Q&A with Dr James Nadel

Q&A with Dr James Nadel

The role of inflammation in the development, identification and treatment of unstable blood vessel plaque...

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Finding a new purpose: Geoff Lester’s heart story

Dr Geoff Lester, 35, is training to be a cardiologist at Coffs Harbour Hospital. He has survived three high-risk open-heart surgeries and two strokes....

Tex Mex chicken burgers

Tex Mex chicken burgers

Tex Mex chicken burgers

10 minutes
Serves 2

For professionals: Cardiovascular disease risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

For professionals: Cardiovascular disease risk assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

Recommendations for assessing Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ...

Driving Best Practice CVD Prevention in a Post-COVID World

Driving Best Practice CVD Prevention in a Post-COVID World

Driving Best Practice CVD Prevention in a Post-COVID World

Spinach hummus with Turkish toasts

Spinach hummus with Turkish toasts

10 minutes
Serves 8

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Aussie men among the world’s most obese, new data

Media Release - 16 November 2020...

Chicken and two-grain stuffed capsicums

Chicken and two-grain stuffed capsicums

Chicken and two-grain stuffed capsicums

10 - 12 minutes
Serves 4

Stay informed about COVID-19

Stay informed about COVID-19

Stay informed about COVID-19

If you have heart disease, you are more vulnerable to severe complications....

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Long-term recovery after a heart attack

Information to help you adjust to what could be the 'new normal'...

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

10 steps to protect your heart health

10 steps to protect your heart health

10 steps to protect your heart health

Ready to help your heart keep on beating? Here are 10 important ways to reduce your risk of heart disease for a healthier life.  ...

What is a healthy body weight?

What is a healthy body weight?

What is a healthy body weight?

Find out what a healthy body weight is and the steps you can take to achieve it. ...

9 food and heart health myths, busted

9 food and heart health myths, busted

9 food and heart health myths, busted

Let’s dive into nine common food and health myths and the facts behind them....

Heart Foundation Research Award Recipients

Heart Foundation Research Award Recipients

Explore our research award recipients and projects...

Heart Health Check Toolkit – Post-use evaluation survey

Heart Health Check Toolkit – Post-use evaluation survey

Blueberry cheesecake oats

Blueberry cheesecake oats

Blueberry cheesecake oats

10 minutes
Serves 2

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

Active Living NSW

Active Living NSW

Active Living NSW

Active Living NSW supports physical activity and healthy built environments in NSW ...

How can I beat the barriers and get active for a healthy heart?

How can I beat the barriers and get active for a healthy heart?

How can I beat the barriers and get active for a healthy heart?

Chicken caprese pizza

Chicken caprese pizza

Chicken caprese pizza

20 minutes
Serves 2 (1 pizza per serve)

2022 PhD Scholarship

2022 PhD Scholarship

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

Heart valve disease means that your heart valve or valves don't open or close properly....

Women's heart stories

Women's heart stories

Women's heart stories

Women's stories from around Australia...