Exploring the Efficacy of Combined Task-Specific and Cognitive Strategy Training in Subacute Stroke

Completed

Phase 2 Results N/A

Trial Description

Novel stroke rehabilitation approaches, such as task-specific training (TST), have shown promise in improving stroke recovery components such as basic mobility and activities of daily living; however, evidence suggests these improvements are not generalized and transferred to home, community, or work settings, and usually do not impact overall participation outcomes. Further, these treatments are very intense, with total treatment times as high as 30 to 60 hours, making them clinically or economically unfeasible in many settings. In contrast, approaches incorporating cognitive strategy training have shown great promise to not only improve functional activity performance in people living with stroke, but also to facilitate generalization and transfer beyond the clinical setting, and to do so in 10 to 15 treatment hours. Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) is an established treatment approach that uses cognitive strategies in combination with TST. Evidence from other research groups and findings from our own participant interview data indicate that the approach may be even more effective if introduced much earlier in the rehabilitation process, however, CO-OP has not yet been tested in this sub-acute population. Therefore, the specific project goals are: 1. To refine the CO-OP treatment approach for use with people less than three months post stroke; 2. To evaluate, in a Phase II clinical trial, the preliminary efficacy of the refined protocol compared to standard occupational therapy on immediate and longer-term skill performance and participation; 3. To determine effect sizes for power calculations for a future Phase III clinical trial to test the new protocol versus contemporary treatment. The research approach consists of Part 1, Protocol Refinement, and Part 2, Exploratory Phase II Clinical Trial.

Detailed Description

Activity and participation limitations occur in the majority of those living with the effects of stroke. Novel stroke rehabilitation approaches, such as task-specific training (TST), have shown promise in improving recovery components such as basic mobility and activities of daily living; however, evidence suggests these improvements are not generalized and transferred to home, community, or work settings, and usually do not impact overall participation outcomes. Further, these treatments are very intense, with total treatment times as high as 30 to 60 hours, making them clinically or economically unfeasible in many settings. In contrast, approaches incorporating cognitive strategy training have shown great promise to not only improve functional activity performance in people living with stroke, but also to facilitate generalization and transfer beyond the clinical setting, and to do so in 10 to15 treatment hours.
Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) is an established treatment approach that uses cognitive strategies in combination with TST. Cognitive strategies are learning strategies that are goal directed and derived from cognitive executive functions such as initiation, planning, and error detection, that support early and mid phase skill acquisition. TST is based on the principles of motor learning, such as optimal provision of feedback and practice schedules, and involves repetitive practice of specific tasks, skills, or activities. Research from the investigators lab demonstrated that CO-OP is associated with functional skill acquisition, retention, and generalization and transfer of skills beyond the rehabilitation setting in adults more than one year post-stroke. Evidence from other research groups and findings from our own participant interview data indicate that the approach may be even more effective if introduced much earlier in the rehabilitation process, however, CO-OP has not yet been tested in this sub-acute population. Therefore, the specific project goals are:
1. To refine the CO-OP treatment approach for use with people less than three months post stroke;
2. To evaluate, in a Phase II clinical trial, the preliminary efficacy of the refined protocol compared to TST alone on immediate and longer-term skill performance and participation;
3. To determine effect sizes for power calculations for a future Phase III clinical trial to test the new protocol vs. contemporary treatment.
The research approach consists of Part 1, Protocol Refinement, and Part 2, Exploratory Phase II Clinical Trial. Part 1 addresses the first project goal of refining CO-OP for use with people less than three months post stroke. In Part 1, three to four adults, less than three months post stroke, will be recruited. The CO-OP protocol will be iteratively modified as necessary based on the experience with each participant, the treating therapists' logs, treatment outcome data, and research team consensus.
Part 2, Exploratory Phase II Clinical trial with Control Arm, will address the second and third project goals. Part 2 will make use of the treatment protocol refinements from Part 1. Based on data from our studies with more chronic patients, an estimated sample size of 28 patients, 14 per group, will provide 82% power to detect a treatment difference of 1.3 units on the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), standard deviation 1.15. The main study outcomes will be changes in performance quality of both trained and untrained skills, as measured by the participant-rated COPM and the observer-rated Performance Quality Rating Scale (PQRS); and changes in participation, as measured by the Participation Domain of the Stroke Impact Scale (SIS). Data analysis will consist of descriptive statistics and between- and within-group differences. Variability in outcome measures will be coupled with estimates of clinically meaningful effect size to conduct sample size calculations for the future Phase III clinical trial. As well, data informative to feasibility will be examined, such as recruitment rate, attrition, mean number of sessions completed, and treatment satisfaction ratings.
The innovation of this proposal is that it will enhance stroke rehabilitation and important long-term functional and participation stroke outcomes through the efficient mechanism of adding cognitive strategy use to existing TST-based programs. The significance is high, in that those with stroke are at high risk for declining participation and increased resource utilization.

Conditions

Interventions

  • CO-OP Behavioral
    Other Names: Strategy Training
    Intervention Desc: CO-OP, a client-centred, performance-based, problem solving approach has 7 key features including: client-chosen goals, dynamic performance analysis, cognitive strategy use, guided discovery, and a specific 10-session intervention format. The client and the therapist work together, using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), to select 3 skills and establish baseline skill performance. In the second meeting, when CO-OP actually begins, the approach is introduced to the client and the global cognitive strategy (GOAL-PLAN-DO-CHECK) is learned. In all subsequent sessions this strategy is used as the main problem-solving framework to facilitate skill acquisition.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: CO-OP
    Description: CO-OP, a client-centred, performance-based, problem solving approach has 7 key features including: client-chosen goals, dynamic performance analysis, cognitive strategy use, guided discovery, and a specific 10 one-hour sessions intervention format. Participants randomized to the CO-OP group will continue to receive usual out-patient services, such as physiotherapy or speech-language therapy, but will receive CO-OP instead of usual occupational therapy.
  • Standard OT Behavioral
    Intervention Desc: Usual out-patient occupational therapy.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Standard Occupational Therapy
    Description: Participants randomized to the SOT group will receive usual out-patient rehabilitation services, with slight modifications. Specifically, a research assistant will administer the COPM to assist participants to self-select 4 personally meaningful skills. The treating SOT occupational therapists will be asked to log the activities completed in each session, and the amount of time spent in therapy.
  • Standard occupational therapy Other
    Intervention Desc: Participants randomized to the SOT group will receive usual out-patient rehabilitation services, with slight modifications. Specifically, a research assistant will administer the COPM to assist participants to self-select 4 personally meaningful skills. The treating SOT occupational therapists will be asked to log the activities completed in each session, and the amount of time spent in therapy.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Standard Occupational Therapy
    Description: Participants randomized to the SOT group will receive usual out-patient rehabilitation services, with slight modifications. Specifically, a research assistant will administer the COPM to assist participants to self-select 4 personally meaningful skills. The treating SOT occupational therapists will be asked to log the activities completed in each session, and the amount of time spent in therapy.

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Endpoint: Efficacy Study
  • Intervention: Parallel Assignment

Outcomes

Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Performance Quality Rating Scale Baseline, Post-Intervention, 3-month follow-up No
Secondary Canadian Occupational Performance Measure Baseline, Post-Intervention, 3-month follow-up No
Secondary Stroke Impact Scale Participation Domain Baseline, Post-Intervention, 3-month follow-up No
Secondary Activity Card Sort Baseline, Post-Intervention, 3-month follow-up No

Sponsors