April 16, 2018

The 18th edition of the Stroke Rehabilitation Evidence-Based Review has been completed.  The SREBR, which is funded by the HSF Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, is available on its own active and free website www.ebrsr.com. The website was recently fully updated, and you are invited to check it out!

The Stroke Rehabilitation Evidence-Based Review, led by Dr. Robert Teasell at Western University, has been the most comprehensive regularly updated online review of the stroke rehabilitation research literature available. The first edition was released in 2002.  The SREBR utilizes a well-validated methodology which includes an extensive literature search, data extraction and analysis, study quality assessment using the PEDro scale and development of levels of evidence, with a focus on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). 

The SREBR has evaluated and synthesized over 4,500 studies evaluating the effectiveness of stroke rehabilitation interventions, including a careful evaluation of over 2,300 randomized controlled studies. That number continues to accelerate and is anticipated to reach 3,000 RCTs by the end of 2018.  Almost two thirds of the RCTs in stroke rehabilitation examine interventions targeting motor deficits while a little over one in 8 RCTs target cognitive deficits.

The SREBR is not only able to determine levels of evidence but is able to track trends in the stroke rehabilitation literature (RCTs) examining interventions. There has been a steady acceleration in the number of RCTs, largely an acceleration in the number of motor RCTs. The quality of RCTs has been steadily increasing over the past four decades. However, for motor RCTs the average study is a smaller study, with less than 50 subjects, conducted at a single site with a usual care control group.  Half of motor RCTs were conducted more than six months post stroke and that percentage is increasing and not decreasing.  In the motor RCTs half the studies utilized technological interventions. There have been significant shifts as to where research is being conducted globally with more studies now conducted in East Asia and the Pacific than in Europe or North America.

The SREBR team have already initiated the literature search for the 19thedition.