University of Exeter
Scientific title
Community-based Rehabilitation Training After Stroke (ReTrain): a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT)
Principal Investigator
Dr Sarah Dean
Year awarded
Grant value
Research ID
TSA 2014-03
Research area
Start date
Sunday 1 February 2015
End date
Tuesday 1 November 2016
21 months

It is common for stroke survivors to say that they need help with continuing their physical recovery after discharge from the National Health Service (NHS). Many report feeling abandoned and unsure of what they can do to improve, particularly for their mobility.

This study is about ReTrain (Rehabilitation Training), a programme which aims to address these concerns by combining expert guidelines on exercise after stroke with key elements of a training approach called ARNI (Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury). The training is led by personal trainers and is designed to help people with stroke continue their recovery. Many stroke survivors have already been very positive about its benefits, saying it helps them become more confident and able to do everyday tasks. 

The ReTrain study will involve 48 stroke survivors. Half of them will receive an advice booklet about exercise after stroke, whilst the other half will take part in a ReTrain programme of 22 group sessions, twice weekly; two one-on-one sessions; and three drop-in sessions. All participants will be measured for their ability and confidence carrying out important everyday tasks; their mobility and levels of physical activity; tiredness; their beliefs about exercise and its benefits; and their physical and psychological well-being. These measures will be recorded at the start of the study, and at 6 months and 9 months later.

The research is a pilot study that will enable the researchers to design and carry out a larger randomised controlled trial (RCT) which would be a fair test of whether ReTrain can improve the lives of stroke survivors.

If ReTrain is shown to be effective, this could greatly assist doctors and health services in making more informed decisions about which of their patients could benefit from ReTrain.