Results show app can improve therapy for stroke survivors | Research news

Results show app can improve therapy for stroke survivors

Results show app can improve therapy for stroke survivors

A NHS community care team have found an innovation which improves care for stroke survivors and helps health staff make evidence-based decisions ‘on-the-go’ to speed up recovery.

The community neuro-rehabilitation team at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) worked with researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to test the ViaTherapy phone app. The online tool is designed to help health staff find the best treatment options for people to regain arm function when recovering from a stroke.

Results from the project published in the BMJ Open Quality online show that ViaTherapy and the tailored questionnaire can enhance and improve therapy services for stroke survivors, by increasing access to evidence on the best interventions for quick and effective treatment.

Charlie Dorer, the team's clinical manager and co-author of the report (pictured above) said: "In community neuro-rehab services we strive to design the best possible care around our patients. One of the areas we focus on is working with stroke survivors to recover function in their arms.

"We were delighted to work with UEA on a quality improvement project trialling the ViaTherapy app - which is an excellent tool, usable in any setting to synthesise the best evidence for clinical decision making, and empowering staff and patients. It’s absolutely fantastic for the team to see these results published, which will inform our next steps and further work in partnership with researchers.”

Charlie and the team are looking into co-production projects to use the latest evidence for better care in practice much quicker, and make a real difference to patients. Testing new technology in clinical settings helps CPFT care teams to change practice, and the Trust actively encourages staff to innovate and improve care with their ideas.

Dr Nicola Hancock head and shoulders Dr Nicola Hancock, from UEA’s School of Health Sciences, said: “This was, from the outset, a truly collaborative project between UEA and the CPFT community rehabilitation team, demonstrating the impact of working together on quality improvement initiatives. The app addresses an important challenge - how busy clinical therapists can rapidly access best available evidence on arm rehabilitation after stroke.

"In our project, clinicians found the app easy to use and supportive of their decision-making around treatments, helping to build their confidence in using evidence-based practice; some even commented that they had increased the intensity of the therapy they offered because of using the app. We are excited to pursue future quality improvement and co-production partnerships with the team."

Read the full article in BMJ Open Quality online

More information on CPFT’s community neurorehabilitation service

More information on ViaTherapy

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