Conflicts of interest: None.
Translating the use of an enriched environment poststroke from bench to bedside: study design and protocol used to test the feasibility of environmental enrichment on stroke patients in rehabilitation
Article first published online: 20 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. International Journal of Stroke © 2012 World Stroke Organization
International Journal of Stroke
Volume 7, Issue 6, pages 521–526, August 2012
How to Cite
Janssen, H., Ada, L., Karayanidis, F., Drysdale, K., McElduff, P., Pollack, M., White, J., Nilsson, M., Bernhardt, J. and Spratt, N. J. (2012), Translating the use of an enriched environment poststroke from bench to bedside: study design and protocol used to test the feasibility of environmental enrichment on stroke patients in rehabilitation. International Journal of Stroke, 7: 521–526. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2011.00727.x
Funding: Heidi Janssen is supported by the National Heart Foundation and National Stroke Foundation cofunded Postgraduate Scholarship and the Emelyn and Jennie Thomas Postgraduate Medical Research Scholarship. Research costs are supported by small project grants from the National Stroke Foundation and the John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust.
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 20 JAN 2012
- National Heart Foundation
- National Stroke Foundation
- John Hunter Hospital Charitable Trust
Environmental enrichment, a paradigm investigated extensively in animal models, is an intervention, which by design facilitates motor, sensory, social, and cognitive activity. It has been shown to improve poststroke motor and cognitive function in animal models of stroke. This is the first study to attempt to translate this intervention from the laboratory to the clinical setting.
The overall aim of this pilot study is to test the feasibility of using environmental enrichment with stroke patients in a rehabilitation setting. The aim is to enrich the environment of stroke survivors in a rehabilitation ward and measure changes in their activity (physical, cognitive, and social activity).
Prospective nonrandomized block design intervention study.
In the control phase we will determine the change in activity levels of patients treated in a usual rehabilitation environment over time. In the intervention phase structured observational techniques (behavioural mapping) will be used to quantify the change in activity levels of patients exposed to environmental enrichment.
The primary outcome is change in activity level. Additional data collected on entry to and exit from the study will include: cognitive function using a battery of cognitive tests, general function using the Functional Independence Measure, mood using the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 and boredom using the Stroke Rehabilitation Boredom Survey. Quality of life will be assessed using the Assessment of Quality of Life 1 month postdischarge from rehabilitation. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry# ACTRN12611000629932.