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Research project: Development and Pilot Evaluation of a Web-supported Programme of Constraint Induced Therapy Following Stroke (LifeCIT)

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When a person has had a stroke they often lose their confidence, motivation and the ability to move one arm and hand. Recent research has shown that intensive exercise assists recovery of movement, but people are often discouraged by slow progress and stop using their weak limb.

A new idea, called Constraint Induced Therapy (CIT), has been shown to overcome this habitual 'non-use'. CIT involves wearing a mitt on the unaffected hand for several hours a day to prevent it from being used. Use of the weak arm and hand is encouraged by intensive exercises. CIT is not available in the NHS because of lack of therapist time for supervision and patients lack the confidence and motivation to carry out CIT alone at home.

This study will have two stages.

Stage 1.

The aim of this part of the study is to develop a web-based therapy programme ('LifeCIT') to support patients carrying out CIT at home (with their carer where possible) with online therapist support. The investigators will develop the therapy programme working closely with at least 12 patients, 6 carers and 6 therapists to identify and resolve any problems.

 

Stage 2

The investigators will then carry out a pilot trial in three centres with 40-60 patients who have just been discharged from hospital and who have loss of arm and hand function. To test LifeCIT the investigators will randomly allocate patients to receive either the LifeCIT intervention or usual care. A researcher, who doesn't know which group patients have been allocated to, will measure their arm and hand function, record the problems this causes and how it affects their quality of life. Tests will be repeated after treatment (3 weeks) and 6 months later. The investigators will also examine the cost-effectiveness of treatment and ask both therapists and patients for their views.

 

Collaborators:

National Institute for Health Research, United Kingdom

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

For more information visit clinicaltrials.gov

 

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