2021-Stroke researchers clinch top awards

NMAHP stroke researchers clinch top awards

Thu, 04 Mar 2021 10:19:00 GMT
NMAHP-RU stroke researchers Dr Kris McGill and Kathryn VandenBerg
NMAHP-RU stroke researchers Dr Kris McGill and Kathryn VandenBerg

Congratulations to Glasgow Caledonian University researchers Dr Kris McGill and Kathryn VandenBerg for winning top awards in recognition of their invaluable work improving the lives of stroke survivors.

The national Society for Rehabilitation Research (SRR) awarded the Verna Wright prize for best oral presentation of 2020 to Dr McGill and best poster of 2020 to PhD student Kathryn, who are both from the University’s Research Centre for Health (ReaCH) Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP-RU).

NMAHP-RU Professor of Stroke Care and Rehabilitation Marian Brady said: “I am delighted that the high-quality stroke rehabilitation research undertaken by our excellent and dedicated​ PhD Fellows has been recognised with these prestigious national awards for the best oral presentation and the best poster presentation by the Society for Research in Rehabilitation.

“I know that the findings from Kris and Kathryn's PhD research will have an important impact on the future of stroke rehabilitation research and the rehabilitation and support for stroke survivors in years to come.

“We are very grateful for the GCU studentship and the Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists studentship funding in supporting them to take this work forward."

Dr McGill, a former research assistant on NMAHP’s National Institute for Health Research HTA-funded PIONEER study on vision after stroke, won the award for presenting findings from his award-winning PhD research.

The large-scale study focused on methodology issues for stroke rehabilitation trials including data from 512 trials and more than 28,000 stroke survivors, and led to his involvement in an international project on the subject.

He also conducted qualitative interviews with trialists from 14 countries, where he explored the underlying issues causing methodological problems for stroke rehabilitation trials.

Dr McGill said: “The SRR is a fantastic organisation run by inspirational multidisciplinary rehabilitation researchers so it really was wonderful to be recognised by them and given the Verna Wright prize. I would just like to thank the wonderful stroke trialists that took part in my qualitative research and the fantastic support I had from my supervisory team during my PhD.”

Kathryn was previously the Data Co-ordinator for the NIHR-funded study REhabilitation and recovery of peopLE with Aphasia after StrokE (RELEASE) and now a Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists PhD student.

Her ongoing PhD research focuses on support groups for people with aphasia – a language disorder that affects one third of stroke survivors. Aphasia can affect speech, reading, writing and the ability to understand language and everyday interactions.

Kathryn said: “I was presented with the SRR Verna Wright prize for my poster on ‘Support groups for people with aphasia: A national survey of third sector group facilitators’.

“I was delighted that an aphasia project caught the eye of the SRR judges. It is a pleasure to highlight the commitment and enthusiasm of aphasia support groups in the UK.

“I am very grateful to all the group facilitators who took part in the survey and made it a success. The best part of the prize was being able to join the online SRR meeting on ‘Rehabilitation research, practice and education in the era of COVID-19’ which introduced to me to the latest COVID-19 rehabilitation research.”

ReaCH makes a direct and significant contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 3 – good health and wellbeing - issued by United Nations in 2015 as a blueprint for peace and prosperity across the planet.