OBJECTIVE: To develop an evidence-based application ('app') for post-stroke upper extremity rehabilitation that can be used globally by therapists.
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-three experienced neurorehabilitation therapists, applied scientists and physicians, and 10 consultants dedicated to the provision of best practice to stroke survivors.
DESIGN: This team evaluated the evidence to support the timely and appropriate provision of interventions and the most defensible outcome measures during a 4-year voluntary information gathering and assimilation effort, as a basis for the sequencing of an algorithm informed by the data and directed by changes in impairment and chronicity.
OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was the formulation of a testable app that will be available for minimal user cost. The app is for a smartphone, and the comments of a focus group (audience at a World Confederation for Physical Therapy 2015 presentation, approximate n=175) during a 30-minute 'Questions and Answers' session were assessed.
RESULTS: Analysis of documented, extensive input offered by the audience indicated a highly favourable disposition towards this novel tool, with provision of concrete suggestions prior to launching the final version. Suggestions centred on: inclusion of instructions; visuals and demonstrations; monitoring of adverse responses; availability of updates; autonomous use by patients; and potential to characterise practice.
CONCLUSIONS: A simple, user-friendly app for decision making in the treatment of upper extremity impairments following stroke is feasible and welcomed.
2016. Vol. 102, no 1