Schneider Emma, Lannin Natasha A, & Ada Louise (2019 online early). A professional development program increased the intensity of practice undertaken in an inpatient upper limb rehabilitation class: A pre-post study. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal.

If you have attended (or plan to attend) a StrokeEd upper limb retraining workshop, there is now preliminary evidence that this type of CPD event can change your practice when combined with post-workshop discussion about implementation strategies. Your department/service could plan to replicate the type of practice change reported in this study, which is part of Emma Schneider’s PhD, conducted at Caulfield Hospital in Melbourne (Congratulations Emma).

After attending a 2-day workshop, therapists attended 3 x 1 hr meetings to review best practice, identify barriers to putting evidence into practice and develop an implementation plan. A focus was given to increasing intensity during the 60-min upper limb classes, which occurred 5 days/week, and were run by an two OTs and an allied health assistant. Approx 4-5 patients attended each group.

After 12 months, the repetitions completed by patients increased from an average of 53 reps / class to 348 reps /class (increase of 295, 95% CI 139 to 450). Six months later at 18 months post-baseline, an average of 197 reps/ class were recorded. The research team calculated reps per minute, and found an average increase of 5 reps /minute over 12 months – therapists found ways to increase intensity of patient practice.

The % of practice time per class increased from 32% at baseline (pre-workshop/ implementation) to 84% after 12 months and 85% at 18 months.

A very nice practical study.