Research body awards £267,000 for stroke rehab study on standing frames

A physiotherapist has been awarded more than £260,000 to find out if standing frames can be used to help people recover from a severe stroke.


Specialist physio Angie Logan will use her fellowship to fund research into stroke rehab

Angie Logan is a specialist physiotherapist in stroke rehabilitation at Camborne Redruth Community Hospital in Cornwall, part of Peninsula Community Health.

She has received a clinical doctoral research fellowship from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), with an award of £267,066.

The funds will be used to study whether using a standing frame to practise basic functional movements – such as standing and moving between sitting and standing – can have a positive impact on the function, quality of life and neuromuscular impairment of people who have experienced severe strokes.

In addition the research aims to examine the practicalities of using a functional standing frame programme in a sub-acute hospital setting.

Miss Logan told Frontline: ‘Currently, physiotherapy for people with severe stroke concentrates on practising tasks such as transfers in and out of a chair or bed, which are important for optimising independence and discharging people home.

‘However, standing up early after a stroke may help strengthen muscles, reduce orthostatic hypotension – a sudden drop in blood pressure when a patient moves from lying to standing – and minimise or prevent muscles becoming stiff and weaker.

‘The fellowship is a very exciting opportunity to undertake clinically relevant and meaningful research that has the potential to benefit patient care for this severely disabled group.’

Miss Logan’s NIHR fellowship is due to begin in April 2016 and is being hosted by Plymouth University and sponsored by Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust.

Feasibility study

The feasibility study will involve 50 people who have experienced a severe stroke, with individuals recruited from four different stroke rehabilitation units in Cornwall and Devon.

Participants will be randomly allocated to take part in one of two 45-minute programmes: either 30 minutes of a ‘functional standing programme’ followed by 15 minutes of usual physiotherapy, or the whole 45 minutes of usual physiotherapy management only.

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