Dr. Rachel Proffitt, Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy, recently received a 2018 Intervention Research Grant from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF). AOTF seeks to advance occupational therapy by supporting life’s meaningful activities, and has designed this particular grant for projects generating preliminary data. The $50,000 award will serve to fund Proffitt’s project, Feasibility of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment® – BIG Intervention in Stroke, for one year. The project aims to improve quality of everyday life for people with chronic stroke.

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)® – BIG has shown good outcomes in people with Parkinson’s Disease, but has not yet been studied in the chronic stroke population. Proffitt’s study will evaluate feasibility and preliminary effects on motor function and performance for fifty of these individuals, laying groundwork for larger trials.

Proffitt hopes to find that LSVT® – BIG can lead to “meaningful change and improved quality of life for people with chronic stroke.” Because this intervention has never been attempted in this fashion, new evidence collected with teach occupational therapists more about stroke recovery in the brain and nervous system and potentially change the way students are taught to approach motor rehabilitation. Proffitt says this study will be “the backbone an necessary pilot work for a large-scale R-01 trial that investigates this intervention for people with stroke.”