Development and evaluation of an adaptive mobile health physical activity intervention post-stroke: a Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomised Trial

Despite recent advances in acute stroke intervention, strategies to prevent recurrent stroke are lacking. This is of urgent importance for people with stroke who are at risk of having another stroke. Physical activity (PA) is the second-largest predictor of stroke and the cornerstone of secondary prevention therapies. Interventions that are tailored to individual response are recommended. However, there is no reliable information on the best way of developing individualised interventions capable of adapting to patient response. This identifies a clear direction for future research.

Researchers from University of Limerick, National University of Ireland, Galway and international centres of excellence will make notable original contributions to research and public health by designing a first-in-class adaptive PA intervention to be delivered using a smartphone application. This will permit the delivery of optimal sequences of treatments to increase PA for individuals.

Objectives include:

  1. To gain an insight into the perspectives of stakeholders on the use of smartphone technology in the delivery of a PA intervention post-stroke. The research team will interview people with stroke and healthcare professionals.
  2. To develop a smartphone application for the delivery of an adaptive intervention, which will include treatments to reduce sedentary behaviour, increase daily PA and encourage structured exercise for people after stroke. The smartphone application will be co-designed with the user.
  3. To examine the optimal sequence of treatments (optimal adaptive intervention), for individuals using a novel experimental trial design. The feasibility, clinical, and cost outcomes will be evaluated.

The recurrence of stroke is a major public health problem. This internationally-renowned cross-disciplinary team will make a substantial contribution to stroke recovery research by pioneering the use of a novel experimental design to empirically develop an adaptive PA intervention for future large-scale evaluation. This feasibility trial will lead to advances in secondary prevention practice and policy post-stroke.

Award Date
07 March 2019
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Sara Hayes
Host Institution
University of Limerick