Stroke specialists gather for conference

9 October 2016

UCLan’s Professor Caroline Watkins leads national event

Academics and researchers interested in stroke rehabilitation have gathered for a specialist conference hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The Organisation for Psychological Research Into Stroke (OPSYRIS) event showcased a broad range of research highlighting aspects of psychological and neuropsychological stroke care and research.

UCLan’s Professor Caroline Watkins was elected as chairman of OPSYRIS two years ago. She said: “It was our pleasure to host this great day, with fantastic speakers who are all delivering cutting edge research on a much neglected area - psychological and neuropsychological problems after stroke.

“It was great to see the research that was being supported by UK funders, including the Stroke Association, and heartening to reflect on the newly published national clinical guidelines for stroke which have mostly had to rely on consensus agreement for best care, as the research evidence is not yet available to inform the best care. There is a true commitment to work together to progress this much neglected area of research to inform care.”

Around 50 people attended, from across the United Kingdom, while 10 academics from early career researchers to senior academics gave oral and poster presentations.

Audrey Bowen, University of Manchester’s Stroke Association John Marshall Memorial Professor of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, was one of the guest speakers. She said: “It’s unique and extremely valuable to get people with research and clinical experience from the strands of psychology, medicine and the therapies together in a very relaxed atmosphere to discuss our work in this area of stroke care.”

The aim of the OPSYRIS group is to facilitate research in psychological aspects of stroke rehabilitation, to conduct research which informs stroke clinical practice and to promote the consideration of psychological factors in stroke services.