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 lower 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.

Eight people with stroke will be invited to participate in clinical training sessions.  Relatives or carers are who can assist with training are also encouraged to attend.

The aim is to involve a combination of people early post-stroke (ie within the previous 1-2 weeks) and later post-stroke (6 months or longer). The other aim is to involve a mixture of people with very little lower limb movement (eg who are unable to sit) as well as those with more advanced lower limb recovery (eg those who can walk or have difficulty ascending or descending stairs).

Day 1: 2 stroke survivors attend for approximately 1 hour in the afternoon to be assessed and trained by the course presenters

Days 2 and 3: 8 people with stroke attend for 2 hours on the second and third afternoons (this includes the two stroke survivors who attend on Day 1).  Eight small groups of 3 physiotherapists will assess, analyse and train each stroke survivor.  They will also establish a homework program for the ward or home.  Stroke survivors will be asked to complete practice overnight and their performance and goals reviewed the following day.

Family members are encouraged to attend so that they can help the person with their overnight practice. Where this is not possible the physiotherapists will need to organise practice that the person with stroke can manage independently.

Transport of community-dwelling people with stroke 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 will make participation easier.  The success of the workshop is dependent on the participation of 8 people with stroke.

If organisers have difficulty locating sufficient people with stroke, nearby hospitals and private therapists should be contacted to help with recruitment.

A gift may be purchased to give to each person with stroke, eg photograph frame, gift voucher, flowers or a tally counter for counting repetitions. One private practice has offered participants some free consultations as a thankyou for attending. 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 2022):
    Email StrokeEd for current workshop costs or a quote. 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 6-8 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. Organisers can choose to send electronic manuals to the participants in lieu of printing the manuals.

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 of this list is to provide some suitable items to use for measuring and training patients. It would be ideal if there could be a specific place in the gymnasium where this equipment is easy to find. Don’t worry if you don’t have some of the items on this list but please let me know if there are some things that you don’t have or can’t get.

  • Adjustable height plinths or chairs
  • Adjustable height tables
  • Tape measures
  • Stop watches
  • 8 x rolls of coloured electrical tape
  • 6 x Wooden blocks of between 5-10 cm height – suitable for stepping on and off
  • Plastic cups or polystyrene cups
  • Sheets of paper to record and write down practice
  • 2 x Bathroom weighing scales, these need to be analog scales as digital scales do not adequately provide feedback on fluctuating amounts of weight. There needs to be 2 blocks of matching height to the scales to allow even standing on a set of scales and a block
  • Rulers
  • White board and white board marker pens
  • 5-6 large sheets of cardboard to help with setting up homework – large cardboard boxes are suitable.

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