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Stroke rehabilitation trial success for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

A new international stroke rehabilitation trial which aims to identify best practice in reducing disability after stroke, has launched at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW).

Four evidence-based mobility therapies will be delivered by physiotherapists and nurses to patients within the first few days following a stroke, as part of the AVERT DOSE trial, which has recruited its first participants.

The trial has a novel, adaptive design where patient outcomes help to direct new patients into treatment arms showing the most promise as the study continues.

More than 2500 patients from over 50 hospitals in Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, India, Singapore and Malaysia will ultimately take part of the study.

The study design was developed by Professor Julie Bernhardt from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health who continues to lead the trial with support from an international rehabilitation collaboration.

“We know that exercise and rehabilitation interventions post-stroke can make a big difference to a person’s outcome. This trial will help us to determine the most effective and safe regimen in patients with both mild and moderate stroke severity in the early stages after their stroke,” said Professor Bernhardt.

“We’re so pleased to have MTW as a partner in this project, which we expect will inform protocols for rehabilitation for stroke internationally.”

Catherine Mandri, MTW Acting Neuro-physiotherapy Clinical Specialist team lead, commented: “We are delighted that we have been able to recruit our first two patients into the AVERT DOSE trial, which will shape the future of stroke guidelines and help ensure the best possible outcomes for our stroke patients.

“We are working closely with colleagues in our Research Team to upskill and train staff and will continue to identify further participants for the trial over coming months.”

Claire Morris, MTW In-patient Physiotherapy Clinical Manager added: “I would like to thank Catherine and her team for their hard work and tenacity in driving this project forward. It is the first stroke physiotherapy led research trial for MTW and will undoubtedly result in key learnings to improve patient care and outcomes.”

The Australian-led team are the world leaders in early mobility research following stroke. The trial is coordinated by the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, in Melbourne and been funded by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council Australia.

More information about the trial is available on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.

Pictured are members of the MTW Stroke Physiotherapy team at Maidstone Hospital