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Background: Stroke is a growing global epidemic limiting the ability of millions to function independently due to post-stroke deficits and complications. Although specialized stroke rehabilitation improves the recovery of functional abilities, accessing rehabilitation services has become increasingly challenging as the number of stroke survivors continues to increase and rehabilitation resources remain scarce. Mobile tablet-based therapies (MTBTs) may be a resource-efficient platform for providing stroke rehabilitation services. The feasibility and challenges of offering MTBTs to stroke survivors should be well understood before expensive, large-scale clinical trials are undertaken to study treatment efficacy. Method: A systematic scoping review will be conducted to describe attempted MTBTs following stroke and the challenges encountered by survivors and study staff. Studies of interest will evaluate MTBTs offered to adult stroke patients in response to post-stroke complications or deficits. Journal databases, gray literature sources, clinical trial registries, relevant organizational websites, and reference lists of eligible studies will be searched to identify suitable studies. Study characteristics, barriers to care, methodological challenges, patient-reported outcomes, and health outcomes will be extracted to describe MTBTs and understand the challenges encountered in context. Results will be presented using descriptive statistics, tables, figures, and narrative description to summarize the scope of the field. Discussion: Trends in MTBT feasibility and common challenges will be discussed to summarize major findings and highlight research gaps. Solutions to common challenges experienced by intervention participants and study staff will be proposed. Implications for the conduct of randomized clinical trials of MTBT efficacy and the appropriateness of a systematic review and meta-analysis of completed trials will be discussed. Systematic review registration: uO Research ( http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35696 ).
Pugliese, M., Johnson, D., Dowlatshahi, D., & Ramsay, T. (2017). Mobile tablet-based therapies following stroke: A systematic scoping review protocol of attempted interventions and the challenges encountered. Systematic Reviews, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-017-0620-6