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Goal-setting in Stroke rehabilitation: What are the mechanisms influencing outcomes?

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Sheeba Rosewilliam
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Stroke is a condition that affects 152,000 people in the UK annually. Patients require rehabilitation input from various disciplines to cater to the multiple issues following a stroke. Goal setting is an integral part of rehabilitation following stroke (RCP 2016). Goal setting is the process wherein professionals negotiate goals with the patient and or the family.

Goal-setting helps to direct rehabilitation efforts. If patients are involved in the process, they perceive better control over the process which could lead to better participation and improved outcomes. However, goal-setting as an intervention has not been investigated adequately especially in rehabilitation following stroke. It is possible that this lack of research is due lack of structured goal-setting methods currently available (Rosewilliam et al., 2011, Sugavanam et al., 2012). Hence there is a need to investigate the process of goal-setting, whether it benefits the stroke rehabilitation team or the patient, the mechanism of how goal-setting might influence the outcomes following rehabilitation.

The project will involve a literature search followed by exploratory research or implementation research using relevant quantitative or qualitative methods. This project will be based in West Midlands in the UK where there are several stroke rehabilitation services catering to people ranging from acute condition to those living in the community. Additional support for specific methodologies will be available from researchers in School of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

Funding Notes

In the process of applying for funds for the project. However currently there are no funds available. Hence looking for self funded students.


Rosewilliam, Sheeba, Carolyn Anne Roskell, and A. D. Pandyan. "A systematic review and synthesis of the quantitative and qualitative evidence behind patient-centred goal setting in stroke rehabilitation." Clinical rehabilitation 25.6 (2011): 501-514.

Rosewilliam, Sheeba, et al. "Is the practice of goal-setting for patients in acute stroke care patient-centred and what factors influence this? A qualitative study." Clinical rehabilitation 30.5 (2016): 508-519.

Sugavanam, Thavapriya, et al. "The effects and experiences of goal setting in stroke rehabilitation–a systematic review." Disability and rehabilitation 35.3 (2013): 177-190.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.40

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