Planning a Lower limb retraining workshop

This outline assists in the planning for an Evidence-based lower-limb retraining after stroke workshop

The 3-day workshop commences at 8.00am each day.

  • The workshop commences early each day because there a large amount of content to cover. Most allied health professionals are used to starting work at 8.00am or 8.30am. We finish earlier on the 3rd day.

Possible days to run the course:

  • Friday/Saturday/Sunday, Saturday/Sunday/Monday.  Conducting the workshop over the weekend allows more therapists to attend and easier access to facilities minimising the interruption to ward routines and therapy areas.
  • The workshop requires two presenters as there is a significant amount of content and clinical sessions each day.

A maximum of 24 occupational therapists and physiotherapists can attend, but 21 therapists is ideal.

Up to 24 registrants can attend if the host site can guarantee to organise 8 stroke participants for clinical sessions.

Numbers are restricted because of the clinical sessions where groups of 3 therapists work together with a stroke survivor, to analyse, then train the upper limb difficulties identified. It is not possible to provide a satisfactory hands-on learning environment if groups are larger than 3-4.

The workshops is aimed at physiotherapists who work with people who have had a stroke. Occupational therapists who work with people with stroke are welcome to attend as there is significant overlap of skills between these professions.

It is important that therapists have coherent and consistent evidence-based strategies when training stroke survivors.
Therapy assistants may also attend the workshop if they are involved with coaching and training stroke survivors.
Therapists working with people affected by traumatic brain injury and other neurological conditions will find the workshop relevant, however, most of the examples provided and all of the patients attending have had a stroke.
Therapists working in paediatric practice may also find the workshop helpful, however, all the examples used will be adult patient groups.

The most suitable venue is a hospital or rehabilitation centre, with easy access to inpatients and outpatients. The lecture sessions/presentations can be conducted in education centre facilities nearby, or in a rehabilitation gymnasium [provided the room can be set up for Powerpoint presentations and darkened sufficiently for the slideshow to be easily visible during the day].

Clinical sessions are best run in either one large gymnasium or two gymnasium areas which can accommodate 7 or 8 groups of therapists/stroke survivors and their carers.

Seven (or 8) stroke survivors will be invited to participate in training sessions, alone or with a relative/friend/carer. On-site therapists identify and brief these individuals. The aim is to involve a mixture of people early post-stroke (ie. within the previous 1-2 weeks) and later post-stroke (eg more than 3 months). Another aim is to involve a mixture of people with little lower limb movement (eg just beginning to learn how to sit) as well as those with more advanced lower limb skills (eg those who can stand-up and walk but not do these skills well).

People with stroke attend for approximately 2 hours on Day 2 (after lunch), and 2 hours on day 3. They will be assessed, a training program will be established and practice/homework set up for the ward/home overnight. Stroke survivors will be asked to complete practice overnight, and their performance and goals reviewed the following day. Family members and or carers are encouraged to attend so that they can help the person with their overnight practice. Where this is not possible, or the stroke survivor can manage their own practice independently, a carer is not required. Transport of community-dwelling stroke survivors may need to be arranged (and paid for) by the workshop organisers. Outpatients may be able to arrange their own transport, however, offers of taxi fares or Cabcharge vouchers will make their participation easier.

The success of the workshop for the therapists attending is dependent on the participation of volunteer stroke participants. If organisers have difficulty recruiting sufficient volunteers, nearby hospitals and private therapists should be contacted to help with recruitment. A gift may be purchased for each stroke survivor to thank them for their participation (eg photograph frame, gift voucher, flowers).  Stroke survivors and their carers who are attending the workshop clinical sessions are welcome to attend the lecture component of the course in the mornings, if they would like to listen and contribute to the discussion.

  1. Presenter Fees (for 2017/2018):
    AUD$1,000 per presenter per day (Australian rates). Total for two presenters for 3 days = $6,000. Invoices will be forwarded to organisers prior to the event.
  2. Accommodation:
    Three nights accommodation for each presenter in a local hotel/motel or apartment with desk facilities for preparation, plus breakfast. To be paid in advance by organisers.
  3. Travel for presenters
    Airfares/flights or train travel should be costed and paid in advance by the organisers – to/from Sydney (within Australia) – economy class. Airport/railway transfers and to/from hotel to hospital venue (taxi fares/Cabcharge vouchers). To be arranged and paid for by organisers.
  4. Venue hire (if applicable)
  5. Catering
    Lunch, morning and afternoon teas for attending therapists, 2 presenters and possibly stroke survivors and carer.
  6. Travel for people with stroke
    Taxi fares to/from the venue x 2 or 3 days for 2-3 people with stroke (Assuming that at least 2 people will be inpatients)
  7. Printing and postage of pre-reading and workshop manual. 
    Pre-reading will be sent to workshop organisers to email to participants 3-4 weeks before the event. Workshop manuals (up to 200 pages) which include Powerpoint slides and worksheets will be sent to the course organisers one month prior to the workshop for printing.  It is important the manuals are high quality prints to ensure that all photographs are clear.

Some public health facilities/area health services have run workshops in the past five years by charging external therapists a higher fee than hospital staff. This arrangement may enable more local staff to attend. It may also be possible to seek supplemental funding for rural continuing education.

Sample memos are available for organisers to adapt and distribute (Eg. to send to stroke survivors regarding location, times, what to wear and bring; for local rehabilitation staff about workshop arrangements, effect of the event on patient and ward routines).

  • A data projector. We will bring our own MAC computer and connector.
  • A white board and white board markers

Equipment list for Lower Limb Workshop:

The aim is to provide  suitable items for use when measuring and training stroke participants.  It would be ideal if there could be a central place in the gymnasium (eg table or trolley) where the equipment is stored.  Don’t worry if you don’t have some of the items on this list, but please let the presenters know if there are items that you don’t have or can’t get.

  1. Adjustable height plinths or chairs
  2. Adjustable height tables
  3. Tape measures
  4. Stop watches
  5. Coloured electrical tape
  6. Micropore tape (or some similar sticky paper tape which is easy to tear)
  7. Phone books or wooden blocks of between 5-10 cm height
  8. Cups or polystyrene cups
  9. Water jug
  10. White board marker pens
  11. Sheets of paper to record and write down practice
  12. Bathroom weighing scales
  13. Rulers
  14. Walking sticks
  15. 5-10° wedges
  16. Sliding tilt table and slippery slide sheets (used to slide patients during transfers)
  17. Measurement wheel to measure distance?

StrokeEd presenters have professional indemnity which allows them to work with patients and therapists in your setting. Karl, Simone and Kate are registered with AHPRA to work as physiotherapists in Australia.

Use the contact form on this website to make inquiries about planning your workshop