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Stroke Recovery in Motion

Principal Investigator:
  • Ian Graham, University of Ottawa
Team Members:
  • Mark Bayley, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
  • Marie-Louise Bird, University of Tasmania
  • Janice Eng, University of British Columbia
  • Michelle Nelson, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
  • Michelle Ploughman, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Justin Presseau, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa
  • Julia Richardson, McMaster University
  • Nancy Salbach, University of Toronto
  • Sharon Straus, St. Michael's Hospital
  • Ada Tang, McMaster University
  • Robert Teasell, Parkwood Institute
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery

Project Overview

One in six people worldwide will experience a stroke in their lifetime. One third of these people are left permanently disabled. In 2013, at least 405,000 Canadians were living with long-term stroke disability and this number is projected to increase to 726,000 over the next 20 years. Advances in acute stroke treatment have increased survival but resulted in more people living with chronic disability and research emphasis has shifted from acute stroke to treatments to enhancing brain recovery. In the past 5 years, clinical trials have generated a wealth of new evidence-informed stroke recovery practices, but adoption has been slow and there continues to be a significant gap between best and current practice. For example, despite strong evidence that aerobic exercise improves motor recovery, quality of life and post-stroke cognitive function, most stroke survivors living in the community do not have access to quality exercise programs.

In 2016, the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery (CPSR) convened its Knowledge Translation Advisory Committee to identify priority areas for knowledge translation. The committee, consisting of people living with stroke, caregivers, stroke recovery experts, health-care providers, policy-makers, and knowledge translation experts, identified exercise post-stroke as a high priority and specifically identified the need to develop sustainable evidence-based community-based exercise programs for those living with stroke.

This project therefore aims to scale-up the implementation of sustainable, evidence-based community exercise programs for those living with stroke and measure the impact of uptake. It will also use an integrated (participatory) knowledge translation approach to identify the factors that facilitate or hinder uptake of best practices to accelerate future scaling up.