Analysis and retraining of upper limb function post-stroke: An introduction (3 sessions, online) – Murrumbidgee LHD employees only

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Target audience: Occupational therapists, physiotherapists, allied health assistants. NSW Health HETI-funded workshop – open to employees of the Murrumbidgee Local Health District only.
Format, Attendance and Assumed Knowledge: Full online via Zoom. (NB No live clinical sessions with stroke survivors ). No assumed knowledge or pre-requisites. Suitable for students, recent graduates and experienced therapists. The same therapist should attend ALL three events.
Cost: TBA by organising group/host site at Griffith – Nadine Quarisa (Murrumbidgee LHD)
Presenters: Dr Annie McCluskey (OT), Karl Schurr (PT)
Capacity: 30
Pre-reading: Recommended homework will be provided, before and between sessions, to apply skills and knowledge acquired
Workshop manual: PPT slides and worksheets will be provided electronically.
Time: Australia (Sydney/Melb/Canberra), 12:30 – 16:30
Dates: 4th, 18th & 25th Feb 2025
Duration: All 3 sessions will run for 4 hours, with regular breaks.

Part 1: Analysis, 4-hrs (Tues 4th Feb 2025): Examples of features to observe when a person reaches to grasp and manipulate objects such as a cup or cutlery. Common compensations or kinematic deviations will be highlighted due to weakness and/or loss of coordination, using slow motion video analysis.

Part 2: Retraining for People who are Very Weak , 4-hrs (Tues 18th Feb 2025): Examples of strength and task-specific training of the shoulder, arm and hand, which stroke survivors can practice independently including shoulder protraction, forward flexion, external rotation, wrist and finger extension, supination and thumb abduction. Interventions for eliciting movement will include mirror therapy, mental practice and electrical stimulation. Emphasis will be placed on semi-supervised and independent practice, enabling up to 300 repetitions per hour without manual guidance. Evidence will be presented supporting each intervention.

Part 3: Retraining Advanced Hand Coordination, 4 hrs (Tues 25th Feb 2025): Examples will be presented targeting tasks of importance to stroke survivors including cutlery use, handwriting and haircare. Interventions will include task-specific training, mirror therapy, electrical stimulation, mental practice and constraint-induced movement therapy. Evidence will be presented supporting each intervention.

Learning objectives: Participants will learn how to:

• Name the essential components of reach, grasp and manipulation.

• Recognise common compensations when observing stroke survivors attempting to reach, grasp and manipulate objects.

• Explain how to minimise compensatory strategies or kinematic deviations during upper limb assessment and retraining.

• Plan an assessment and retraining session with a stroke survivor using motor learning principles and task-specific practice.

• Cite references from systematic reviews and guidelines that support use of strength training, mirror therapy, mental practice, electrical stimulation and constraint-induced movement therapy for improving upper limb recovery and coordination.

Contact for registrations: Nadine Quarisa (Murrumbidgee LHD)

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