SENSe Implement

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The SENSe Implement Project – A Research Translation Study

National and international studies highlight an evidence-practice gap in the area of assessment and treatment of sensory loss after stroke (Pumpa et al., 2015; Doyle et al., 2013). Evidence and science-based therapies are available and endorsed by practice guidelines, however access to these therapies is limited and highly variable, and outcomes suboptimal. Sense, an effective and recommended therapy developed by us, is the exemplar to test our knowledge transfer approach.   Active knowledge translation efforts are required to translate research to clinical practice.

This project investigates the use of evidence-based knowledge translation strategies to increase the use of SENSe therapy by physiotherapists and occupational therapists working with stroke survivors. We developed a ‘knowledge transfer’ intervention to drive behavior change in clinical settings (Cahill et al., 2018). Our intervention targets the delivery of science-based rehabilitation that requires therapist knowledge and skill; an application of knowledge translation that is virtually untested in our field. It requires special attention given the challenges in up-skilling therapists and access within our health system. A pragmatic before-after study design involving eight Australian health organisations and four specialist centres is testing its effectiveness to change clinician behaviour and improve stroke outcomes. The design permits investigation across different modes of delivery and skill levels of therapists. It involves ~100 therapists and >140 stroke survivors.

Knowledge Translation, also known as Implementation, is a dynamic process of moving knowledge to practice and is based on the growing movement of implementation science (Graham et al., 2006).  In this study, participating sites are provided with a multi-modal approach to knowledge translation including interactive group training workshops, establishing and fostering champion therapists and written educational materials and online resources.

Find out more about the project in our protocol paper:

Cahill, L. S., Lannin, N. A., Mak-Yuen, Y., Turville, M. L. & Carey, L. M. (2018). Changing practice in the assessment and treatment of somatosensory loss in stroke survivors: protocol for a knowledge translation study. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1), 34. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-2829-z

Link to pdf of paper: Cahill et al., 2018 ©This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

And at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry website.


Pumpa, L. U., Cahill, L. S., & Carey, L. M. (2015). Somatosensory assessment and treatment after stroke: An evidence-practice gap. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 62(2), 93-104. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12170

Doyle, S., Bennett, S., & Gustafsson, L. (2013). Occupational therapy for upper limb post-stroke sensory impairments: A survey. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(10), 434-442. doi: 10.4276/ 030802213X13807217284143

Graham, I. D., Logan, J., Harrison, M. B., Straus, S. E., Tetroe, J., Caswell, W., & Robinson, N. (2006). Lost in knowledge translation: time for a map? Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 26(1), 13-24.