Stroke survivors cycle for research

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Stroke Research Team,  led by CLAHRC NWC's Professor Caroline Watkins, delivered an ‘electric bikes after stroke’ event at the UCLan Sports Arena. Attendees were supported to try out a range of adapted cycles including three wheelers, four wheelers, recumbents, hand cycles, wheelchair transporters and two wheeled electrically assisted bicycles.

The idea to explore cycling for people after stroke resulted from an experience shared by a stroke survivor who is actively involved in stroke research at UCLan. He had recently started cycling using a recumbent bicycle but found that due to fatigue he was unable to travel as far as he would like. It was thought that the use of adapted electrically assisted bicycles could potentially provide a unique way of overcoming some of the traditional barriers to cycling for people after stroke.

The purpose of the event was to explore if adapted electric bicycles could be feasibly used to support people to return to cycling after a stroke. Attendees were very positive about the range of options that are available and now future work will involve examining in greater detail the adaptations that would need to be made to electrically assisted bicycles to make them suitable for stroke survivors with a range of physical impairments.

Through the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI), UCLan has established a collaborative partnership with the Electric Bikes Research Executive (EBRE). EBRE is a pan UK-Scandinavian charitable organisation that is focused on achieving high impact research to unlock the full potential of the electrically assisted pedal cycle for social, environmental and economic gains. EBRE attended the event on the day along with stroke survivors, relatives, carers and healthcare professionals from across Lancashire and Preston Wheels for All representatives.

This work presents independent research funding by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through CLAHRC NWC. 

More articles     Posted on: 18 July 2016