A Very Early Rehabilitation Trial "AVERT"


Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

Phase 3, multicenter, international randomized controlled trial of a Very Early Mobilization(VEM) care rehabilitation protocol compared to standard post stroke care (SC). Participants receive either SC and VEM or SC alone in the acute phase of stroke up to a period of 14 days.
Participants are followed up by a blinded assessor at 3 and 12 months post stroke to determine trial outcomes.

Detailed Description

People who suffer a stroke are often left with disabilities such as weakness, or problems with speech, thinking, or control or bodily functions. Severe strokes often result in death. The results of a recent European study indicated that patients who commence mobility training very early after a stroke (Day 1) recover the ability to walk more quickly and return home sooner and in greater numbers than those who start training one week or later after stroke. Recently a phase II (pilot) AVERT study was conducted in which the investigators tested the safety and feasibility of very early mobilisation (European model) Stroke patients in this study randomly received either standard care or very early mobilisation (VEM). The study showed that there was no harm to patients in the VEM group compared to those who had standard care and that delivering VEM was feasible. Consequently, a grant to conduct the larger phase III study, to test the effectiveness of the intervention was obtained.
In this next phase III trial, the investigators aim to look at 2104 patients across stroke care units in city and regional hospitals. Each hospital will be asked to include between 30 and 60 patients per year to the study. All stroke patients admitted to the hospital Stroke Unit or ward at the hospital will be invited to participate. Medical clearance will be obtained for all potential participants. Those unconscious or too ill, together with those already participating in acute drug trials will be excluded. Patients who are able will provide their own consent to participate. Those who are not able to consent for themselves will have a third party (usually a relative) acknowledge their participation in the study. As this is a blinded controlled trial, keeping the assessor and patients unaware of their treatment group is important. The investigators will inform patients that they will have a 50% chance of receiving one of two rehabilitation types during their hospitalization if they decide to participate. Patients in the VEM group will commence treatment within 24 hours of admission to hospital. VEM will be provided by a trained AVERT physiotherapist, and AVERT study nurse and aims to improve functional mobility. The mobilization activities will depend on the patient's functional ability and tolerance to exercise. Patients will be closely monitored prior to mobilization and will only be mobilised if they meet requirements for blood pressure and other vital signs. The number of sessions and the time spent for each patient will vary, however specific targets are to be met according to the intervention protocol. The content and timing of all treatment received by participants in either group will be recorded. The treatment period for this study is from the time of the patients consent, until day 14 or discharge from the stroke unit or ward. (Whichever is earlier). All participants will be assessed at admission to the study, 3 months, and 12 months after their stroke. Information collected by the AVERT physiotherapists and nurses and the assessor will be recorded on individual case record forms and on a secure web based data base. Therapists also add some information to a palm pilot, and then download it onto the secure website. All information collected from patients will be treated as confidential in line with international guidelines and local law.
The primary outcome measure for the study is the number of patients dead and disabled at 3 months after stroke. Other secondary outcome measures include the safety of patients, quality of life, and cost effectiveness. An independent Data Monitoring committee will monitor the safety, conduct and efficacy of the trial. In addition, an independent outcomes committee will be reviewing all events that are reported as serious.



  • Standard Care Other
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Standard Care
    Description: Standard stroke unit rehabilitation care
  • Standard Care + VEM Other
    Intervention Desc: Patient will receive standard stroke unit care with earlier and additional physiotherapy and nursing sessions as per an intervention protocol.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Standard Care + VEM
    Description: Standard stroke unit rehabilitation care in addition to a very early rehabilitation protocol

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Endpoint: Efficacy Study
  • Intervention: Parallel Assignment


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary modified Rankin Score 3 months No
Secondary Safety. Death rate and severity of important medical events up until 3 months Yes
Secondary Time to unassisted walking over 50 meters and the proportion achieving unassisted walking 3 Months No
Secondary Health related Quality of life 12 months No
Secondary Cost effectiveness and cost utility 12 months No