Arm Recovery After Stroke

The SMART study: Standardising Measures in Arm Rehabilitation Trials


Up to 77% of stroke survivors experience upper limb impairment. Effective upper limb stroke rehabilitation is a recognised research priority. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) use over 180 different outcome measures to determine the efficacy of interventions for stroke upper limb rehabilitation. Lack of standardisation of outcome measures limits the ability to synthesise evidence to inform clinical decisions.

To achieve consensus on the outcome measures to recommend for use in RCTs investigating interventions aimed at improving upper limb function after stroke according to International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework (ICF) classification.


  • Phase 1: Systematic exploration to create an inventory of outcome measures currently used in RCTs.
  • Phase 2: Mixed methods to identify upper limb outcomes that are important to stroke survivors, carers and health professionals.
  • Phase 3: Consensus methods to produce final recommendations of outcome measures for use in future RCTs investigating stroke upper limb rehabilitation.


Consensus recommendations of outcome measures will:

  • increase uniformity of trial output and enhance comparability of results
  • facilitate comprehensive meta-analyses examining the effectiveness of interventions
  • inform clinical guidelines and decision making in stroke rehabilitation.

Contact Julie Duncan Millar for details:

PhD Student: Julie Duncan Millar, NMAHP Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University
Supervisory team: 

Dr Myzoon Ali, Research Fellow, NMAHP Research Unit

Dr. Alex Pollock, Research Fellow, NMAHP Research Unit

Prof Frederike van Wijck, Professor in Neurological Rehabilitation, Glasgow Caledonian University