Stroke survivors’ perceptions of participating in a high repetition arm training trial early after stroke

Ulrike Hammerbeck, Mary Hargreaves, Kristen L. Hollands, Sarah Tyson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study explored the acceptability of high repetition arm training as part of a randomised controlled trial, early after stroke, when fatigue levels and emotional strain are often high.

Materials and methods
36 sub-acute stroke survivors (61 years+/-15) attended for assessment sessions at 3, 6, and 12 weeks after stroke. Individuals were randomised to receive 6 high repetition arm training sessions between 3 and 6 weeks (intervention) or the control group. Semi-structured interviews were conducted at trial completion. Interview transcripts were analysed through framework analysis conducted independently by 2 researchers.

Stroke survivors participated despite high levels of fatigue because they hoped for personal benefit or to potentially benefit future patients. Benefits reported from participation included physical improvements, psychological benefit, improved understanding of their condition as well as a feeling of hope and distraction. The arm training at three weeks after stroke, aiming for 420 movement repetitions was not considered to be too intensive or too early, and most individuals felt lucky to have been, or would have preferred to be in the early training group.

High repetition arm training early after stroke was acceptable to participants. Study participation was generally viewed as a positive experience, suggesting that early intervention may not only be physically beneficial but also psychologically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6026-6033
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been funded by a Stroke Association Post-doctoral Fellowship TSA PDF2015/02 awarded to Ulrike Hammerbeck.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Stroke
  • arm training
  • qualitative study
  • research participation


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