Torbay Medical Research Fund awarded Rhoda Allison a £48,541 grant to carry out a study to predict difficulty in caring for the arm after a stroke & develop a longitudinal profile of impairment & disability.
The participants were stroke patients, identified as being unlike to regain functional use of their arm, 2-4 weeks after their stroke.
The study found that 12 months after the stroke, there was a high incidence of disability and impairment in people with profoundly-affected arm, with 77% of participants having developed spasticity and 29% of participants were unable to care for the arm themselves or described serve difficulty. The study found that difficulty caring for the arm increased with age, higher spasticity early post-stroke and stroke classification. This indicates that these are the main risk factors, with them accounting for 33% of the variance at 12 months, although longitudinal profiles of disability and impairment were highly individual across all of the participants.
The next steps for this research will involve designing a self-management intervention targeted at reducing the risks of these complications in the arm and producing information to enable those at highest risk to re-access services when needed.