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Rehabilitation according to the patient's conditions  Karolinska Institutet News

Rehabilitation according to the patient's conditions Karolinska Institutet News



Professor Susan Guidetti. Photo: Ulf Seerborn

what are you looking for

– In my research, I mainly studied the process of rehabilitation after stroke. Initially, it was about describing what the process looked like and investigating what interventions were effective, because occupational therapy is a relatively new academic discipline and in many cases there was a lack of evidence for different interventions. Today, I work primarily on the development and evaluation of new complex interventions – partly for the rehabilitation of people who have had a stroke, and partly for preventive efforts to support older people in healthy ageing.

Tell us about the methods you are developing.

– The basis of the stroke rehabilitation intervention we have developed, called F@ce, is to let patients' priorities guide what they want and need to do in their daily lives. It's very different for different people. An important part is the use of digital solutions, as we tried to send participants an SMS reminder every morning about their goals, and then evaluate them every evening. Our pilot study in Uganda gave very promising results, and I look forward to evaluating this in both Sweden and Uganda through a randomized controlled trial.

– Even in interventions aimed at achieving healthy aging, close follow-up with technical support is an important part. In collaboration with researchers from Spain and Poland, we combine the physical exercises that older people do at home with sensors that measure their results and questionnaires. The aim is for care to be able to quickly detect and act supportively when there is deterioration in older people.

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What do you hope for in the long term?

– Contributing to a better rehabilitation process that results in people being largely able to maintain their daily lives and participate in activities that interest them – in Sweden and globally. For large segments of the population in low-income countries, rehabilitation is largely non-existent today. I hope we can help change that.

Text: Anders Nilsson, first published in English in From Cell to Society 2020