Stroke Research Findings and Diverse Recruitment

CCHE Director Dorothy Farrar Edwards and colleagues recently published on their stroke study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The research published in PNAS reports on a phase II, randomized clinical trial where 72 stroke participants were enrolled in the study within three weeks after their stroke. The results indicated the optimal period for intensive rehabilitation of arm and hand use after a stroke should begin 60 to 90 days after the event. “Understanding that there could be an important window for best rehabilitating after a stroke is exciting because it gives us an optimal period for using a range of techniques and therapies to enhance recovery,” said Dr. Farrar-Edwards.

Additionally exciting about this study was the diversity of enrollment. “The sample was 83% African American and 10% Caucasian,” shared Dr. Farrar-Edwards.

“We developed our recruitment materials and strategies in our earlier NINDS funded Stroke Disparities Study (SDS) which was designed to address the disproportionate risk for stroke and poor stroke outcomes in African Americans. Our community advisory board for the SDS project gave our research program the name “Power to End Stroke“ – we were more successful recruiting African Americans than white participants.”

Extra shout out to HELI 2019 Alumna Dr. Deeonna Farr, who contributed to the development of the Power to End Stroke recruitment strategy.

Congratulations to the research team on these great findings AND the impressive recruitment! Dr. Farrar-Edwards’ and her Wisconsin colleagues also utilize asset-based community development approaches in their Alzheimer’s work. It’s so inspiring to see known good practices having tangible impact in what we learn about health in all communities!