Performance Breakthrough Stroke Pilot Research Study
Dr Niamh Kennedy, Univesity of Ulster
“The improvements observed in a wide range of abilities demonstrate that this programme shows promise to help improve life after a Stroke.”
“I was told that it would be very difficult for me to walk again…”
In this video, who had a Stroke 3 years ago, describes how her confidence has risen since starting the exercises. She told us… “It’s the small things like being able to empty the dish washer, look up to put things in a cupboard without feeling dizzy and fill the kettle to make a cuppa”…She added. “The numbness has gone from my leg and I can now walk 4 miles per day…
We achieve this through the completion of carefully structured balance and co-ordination exercises.
You will need 2 sessions per week. (30 minutes per session).
Face to face or online sessions available.
Full support provided.
“I want to shout from the roof tops how much this programme has helped me.”
In this video .”Suzanne describes how she had stopped playing her violin as she could no longer hold the bow. Just 5 weeks after starting the exercises she tentatively played a full piece with much more control in her fingers and arm.
Performance Breakthrough and University of Ulster – Stroke Rehabilitation Research Pilot
In order to assess any changes in stroke survivors following the Performance Breakthrough programme, a pilot project was run in conjunction with Dr Niamh Kennedy, a Stroke researcher from the Ulster University.
To allow us to objectively measure the impact of the programme, 2 clinically validated measurement tools were used prior to the start of the programme and at various time points throughout the programme (6 weeks, 12 weeks etc). The first measure used was the Stroke impact scale- designed to assess multidimensional Stroke outcomes, including strength, hand function Activities of Daily Living), mobility, communication, emotion, memory and thinking, and participation. The second outcome measured Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC Scale) a structured questionnaire that measures an individual’s confidence in performing activities without losing balance.
Although this is a small pilot study, the programme has demonstrated improvements in aspects of the participant’s lives. Here we give an example of 2 participant’s results so far:
Stroke Impact scale
You can see from the graph that PT1 and PT3 have improvements in their scores across the time points. When looking at the individuals scores across the 8 domains (Strength, Hand function, Activities of Daily Living (ADL) / Instrumental ADL, Mobility, Communication, Emotion, Memory and thinking, participation). PT1 has increased in activities in daily living and participation (such as participation in work, active recreation, your role as family member, ability to control your life as you wish) PT3 demonstrated some increases in strength, activities of daily living(cutting up food, toileting, household chores), communication and emotion.
Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale
It can be seen from the table and graph that participant 1 and 3 increase in confidence from pre to post2.
PT1 change reaches the level which would be classes as a clinically important change that reflect changes in a clinical intervention that are meaningful for the patient.
In particular participants felt more confident in walking in public areas- outside, in crowed areas and on stairs.
It can be seen that these 2 stroke survivors who had very different levels of impairment at the start of the programme both made improvements in a range of abilities in the first 12 weeks of the programme. This demonstrates the programme shows promise to help improve life after stroke.