A new University trial suggests that recruitment of stroke patients for specific rehabilitation studies could be increased by improved training of trial staff in the research processes involved as well as using outcomes from treatment that can be measured at a patient's home.
Sponsored by the Stroke Association the 'Visual Impairment in Stroke; Intervention Or Not' (VISION) trial was undertaken to examine the visual rehabilitation of people diagnosed with a condition known as 'homonymous hemianopia' after they had suffered a stroke. As a result of this condition patients lose either the left or right half of their visual field in both eyes.
The study, which is published today in the journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, was conducted by Dr Fiona Rowe, Reader in Health Services Research at the University of Liverpool, and Chief Investigator on the VISION trial, and her team.
The aim of the study was to examine the rehabilitation treatments of 1) prism glasses and 2) the training of patients to improve their visual scanning ability, as compared to giving patients information only about their condition.
The study found that of 1171 patients with suspected homonymous hemianopia who were screened for the trial, only 178 patients were eligible to take part. The main reason people could not take part was because they had made a full or partial recovery from their visual field loss. In fact, full or partial recovery of visual field loss on one side accounted for almost half of those patients who were ineligible.
Recruitment can be improved
Dr Fiona Rowe, said: "This is a positive finding for stroke outcomes, as even partial recovery of visual field loss on the affected side may have much less impact on a person's functional ability, than a complete loss of vision on that side.
"For future trials in this research area, we suggest that recruitment of patients may be increased by improved training of trial staff in the research processes involved as well as using outcomes from treatment that can be measured at a patient's home, rather than in the hospital."
The final results from the VISION trial are yet to be published. However, you can find out more about the trial by visiting the VISION trial website here.
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