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Development and implementation of evidence-based stroke rehabilitation

Associate Professor Natasha Lannin, Institution: Monash University

2018 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2019-2022

While research has led to important advances in stroke survival, stroke remains one of the leading causes of adult disability globally. To reduce the long-term burden of stroke we need both a detailed knowledge of the efficacy of rehabilitation interventions, and for existing knowledge to be translated into clinical practice. My fellowship addresses these by testing interventions in large-scale effectiveness trials embedded in the clinical rehabilitation setting; and increasing the uptake of evidence by testing models of support for clinicians to provide effective interventions based on implementation science theories.  

Through embedded research leadership in the clinical setting, this Future Leader Fellowship will seek to improve the effectiveness of research translation in stroke rehabilitation. To address this, I will draw together my two themes of research using three methodologies (clinical trials, health services research, and implementation science):  

Theme 1: Testing efficacious rehabilitation interventions in large-scale effectiveness trials, embedded within the clinical setting. Current projects led by Professor Lannin include testing an early supported Return-to-Work intervention (WORK Trial), and testing a discharge planning intervention (HOME Rehab Trial) to support improved participation post-stroke.  

Theme 2: Transforming rehabilitation approaches to translate evidence into practice and improve long-term outcomes for people living with stroke. Having completed systematic reviews on the role consumers may plan in translation, and on the effectiveness of implementation methods for stroke translation in rehabilitation, current work is focused on understanding the impact of health service delivery models (such as 7-day allied health interventions early after stroke), and in developing a decision-aid to support consumer choice during rehabilitation.  

The aim of this fellowship is to foster lasting change in stroke rehabilitation by bridging the gap between evidence and clinical care, ultimately so as to improve the outcomes achieved for Australians who experience stroke.

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