What are your research interests?
People who have had a stroke find it very difficult to be active and so can sit for long periods each day. This can reduce quality of life, and have a negative impact on their ongoing health. My research focuses on understanding how breaking up sitting time with short bursts of activity could improve health and wellbeing after stroke.
I’m also interested in how people can prevent a second stroke, which is unfortunately very common. I am looking at how simple changes to physical activity and diet can decrease this risk.
Why did you get into research?
I started my career as a clinical physiotherapist working with stroke survivors during their rehabilitation. I had lots of questions and ideas about how we could do better to improve recovery, so I started researching to seek the answers.
My main driver is a desire to help stroke survivors recover, rehabilitate and re-engage in everyday life as fully as possible. I have a passion for improving the lives of people living with the effects of stroke and working with them to understand how to improve their recovery and live long and healthy lives.
What would be the ultimate goal for your research?
My goal is for people who have had stroke to be able to live longer, happier and healthier lives. This can best be achieved through research, which requires ongoing funding. Through research, we can continue to build a strong evidence base to show that by providing optimal supports and services to people who have had a stroke, we can support them to lead their best life possible.
Professor Coralie English is a physiotherapist and an experienced stroke clinical trialist. Her research focuses on understanding the health benefits of physical activity and diet for people after stroke, as well as determining optimal models of rehabilitation and service delivery after stroke.
Her research expertise is varied, including physiotherapy, clinical trials, consumer engagement and digital health solutions. Specifically, Coralie’s research seeks to:
- understand the impact of sedentary behaviour on health, both early and later after stroke,
- develop and test interventions to enable greater physical activity in people who have had a stroke
- determine the optimal ‘dose’ of exercise and physical activity needed to improve outcomes,
- understand the causes and effective management strategies for post-stroke fatigue, including the role of physical activity
- use digital solutions to both encourage and measure physical activity and sitting time.
Coralie is the current Co-Chair of the Content Development working party for the Stroke Foundation’s Living Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management. These guidelines are dynamically and constantly updated as new information is discovered and are the only ‘living guidelines’ for stroke management in the world. Coralie oversees the content of these guidelines to ensure they reflect best practice for stroke patients.
Coralie led the establishment of the Stroke Research Register (Hunter) in 2016. This register now contains over 600 people whose lives have been impacted by stroke who contribute to stroke research in various ways. Through involving consumers in her research, Coralie ensures that her research is focused on what really matters to those affected by stroke throughout the recovery journey.
I’m a self-confessed “serial collaborator.” I enjoy building networks (locally, nationally, and internationally) and working across many disciplines such as with neurologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and dietitians, along with people with lived experience of stroke. This allows for a broader, more holistic approach to solving complex problems.
Through these collaborations, I’ve become increasingly interested in fatigue after stroke - what causes it and how it can best be managed. Fatigue is very common after stroke and, for many people, is the most debilitating symptom of stroke.
In today’s digital world, I’m also focused on how we best use technology to deliver services and support to people with stroke. There’s a vast array of digital solutions available, such as telerehabilitation and consumer co-designed apps that can aid recovery, and I’m keen to explore this avenue further.
- Clinical trials in stroke
- Telehealth and digital care in stroke rehabilitation
- Objective measurements of physical activity and sitting time
- Exercise therapy after stroke
- Guideline development
- Consumer co-design
- Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury
- Lead of the Stroke Research Register, Hunter
- Co-chair of the Living Clinical Guidelines for Stroke
- Deputy Chair, Research Advisory Committee for the Stroke Foundation
- Member, International Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation Alliance (ISRRA; incorporates the Stroke Rehabilitation and Research Roundtable initiatives)
ABC Newcastle interview with Kia Handley - 29 January 2019