Planning an Upper Limb Retraining Workshop

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

Currently the workshop runs over 3 days.

Each day starts at 8.00am. The workshop intentionally commences early to cover extensive content and discussion. In Australia most allied health professionals start work at 8.00am or 8.30am.

Mostly workshops are held on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday or Friday/Saturday/Sunday but other combinations of days are optional (eg Sat-Mon, Mon-Wed etc).

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 the 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 are aimed at occupational therapists and physiotherapists who work with people who have had a stroke.

Therapy assistants can attend the workshop.  (Assistants have found the course relevant and useful if they are responsible for helping with coaching and training patients).

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 stroke participants attending are likely to have had a stroke.

Therapists working in paediatric neurology may also find the workshop helpful however, all the examples used will be adult populations.

The most suitable venue is a hospital or rehabilitation centre with easy access to in-patients, however the workshop has been successfully run in a community health centre and private practice.

The lecture sessions/presentations can be conducted in education centre facilities close by, or in a gym [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 one or two gym areas which can accommodate multiple groups of therapists/stroke participants (a total of up to 36 people).

Up to 8 people with stroke will be invited to participate in training sessions. Relatives/carers are encourage to attend and assist with practice. 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 (up to 6 months or longer). Another aim is to involve a mixture of people with very little upper limb movement (flicker of movement in shoulder and/or hand) as well as those with more advanced upper limb recovery (eg who can hold/pick up a pen or fork, but perhaps not use these implements well).

People with stroke attend for approximately 2 hours on each day (after lunch).  They will be assessed, a training program established and practice/homework set up for the ward/home. Individuals will be asked to complete practice overnight, and their performance and goals reviewed the next day. Family members are encouraged to attend so that they can help the person with their overnight practice. Sometimes this is not possible, or the person with stroke can manage their own practice independently.

Transport of community-dwelling people with stroke will need to be arranged (and paid) by the workshop organisers. Out-patients may be able to arrange their own transport, however, offers of taxi fares or Cabcharge vouchers will make participation easier. The success of the workshop is dependent on the participation of the people with stroke. If organisers have difficulty locating sufficient numbers of people with stroke, consider contacting nearby hospitals, outpatients and private therapists to help with recruitment. It cannot be over-emphasised how important this aspect of course organisation is as there are often problems at the last minute. Consequently it is helpful to have at least one person in reserve for the course.  A gift may be purchased to give to each person with stroke to thank them for their contribution to the course (eg photograph frame, gift voucher, flowers).

  1. Presenter Fees (for 2022): Email StrokeEd for current workshop costs or a quote. Not offered by Zoom. Invoices will be forwarded to organisers prior to the event. Where a guest presenter/tutor assists with teaching, fees may be shared across presenters or an additional tutor fee may be quoted. If clinician salaries are much lower in an overseas country (ie much lower than Australia), organisers are encouraged to contact us to discuss fees.
  2. Accommodation: A local apartment is preferred (or hotel with desk facilities for preparation) – to be paid by organisers (for 3 nights).
    1. 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. Minimal travel costs are charged in Sydney but will include taxi fares or car rental. Airport/train station transfers to/from hotel / hospital venue will require taxi fares/Cabcharge vouchers or car rental for 3 days – to be arranged and costed by organisers.
  3. Venue hire (if applicable)
  4. Catering – Lunch, morning and afternoon teas for up to 24 professionals, 2 presenters and any stroke participants and relatives who stay for lunch.
  5. Travel for stroke participants –  Taxi fares to/from the venue on each workshop day for stroke survivors who are outpatients (assuming that at least 2 people will be inpatients)
  6. Printing and postage of the workshop manual.  Pre-reading (up to 100 pages, provided as a PDF file) can be distributed by the course organisers via email to registrants (or printed/posted) 4-5 weeks before the workshop. Workshop manuals (up to 300 pages) will be provided as a PDF document via Dropbox or equivalent to workshop organisers for professional printing. Cost for printing is variable depending on commercial printers, but will be between $750- $1,000 for 24 manuals with a colour cover and some colour pages.

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.

Sample memos are available from the StrokeEd team for organisers to adapt for their local needs. These memos can be given to stroke survivors (re: location, times, what to wear and bring) and local rehabilitation staff about workshop arrangements /effect of the event on patient /ward routines.
  • A data projector (we use our own Mac laptop, and will bring a Mac connector for the data projector)
  • A white board

Equipment for Upper Limb Retraining Workshop – 2018

Please plan to collect the following items of equipment together for the workshop. Assemble these items in a central place in the gym area (eg on a trolley) where the clinical sessions will be held.  Items will be used for analysis and training each day:

  1. Large sheets of butchers paper/old calendars for practice program
  2. Polystyrene cups (3 pkts) and small plastic children’s picnic cups (10-20);
  3. 12” wooden or plastic rulers (1-2);
  4. A jug for water;
  5. Wooden tongue depressor sticks that nurses use for mouth care (about 10);
  6. Box or packet of flexible/bendy straws
  7. Playing cards (2 packets)
  8. Plastic tweezers from nurses wound dressing kits (about 6 pairs);
  9. Metal forks and knives (x 6 sets)** FOR Day 1 morning session, 8am **
  10. Scissors x 4 (at least one large pair for cutting up cardboard boxes)
  11. Flexible plastic picnic cups (similar size as polystyrene disposable cups)
  12. Towels and flannels/Chux wipes to place under patient’s hand when sliding an object along table
  13. Slidesheet material which can be cut up to place under patient’s hand when sliding an object along table
  14. Empty rectangular 1 kg yoghurt containers (3-4)
  15. Large empty cardboard boxes (6-8 if possible) for setting up practice on table in the ward/at home (NB medium to large size; empty paper towel boxes, wine boxes)
  16. Empty shoe boxes (5-6 if possible) to store patients practice activities
  17. Texter felt pens (10 or so).
  18. Micropore tape (4 rolls, narrow-medium width
  19. Coban elasticised tape (4 rolls, narrow to medium width)
  20. Tally counters/clickers x 5
  21. Electrical Stimulation machines x 4 and electrodes. We will also ask therapists to also bring their own ES machine and electrodes to the workshop.
  22. Electrical extension cords or boards for teaching room – in case these are needed for portable laptop and data projector
  23. Adjustable height overbed tables if possible (one per stroke participant = 6-7 tables if possible)
  24. Mirror boxes x 4 (commercial or home-made) – we will also ask therapists to bring their own mirror box to the workshop
  25. A loaf of sliced bread (for cutlery/cutting practice in clinical sessions) or leftover sandwiches from lunch each day.

StrokeEd presenters have professional indemnity insurance and AHPRA registration (for Australia) which allows them to teach, supervise therapists and work with stroke survivors in clinical settings.

Most presenters have HPCP registration (for the UK).

Additional overseas registration fees will need to be paid/reimbursed by workshop organisers.

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