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Physiotherapists in North Devon have helped develop a free online guide to help carers, clinicians and therapists find suitable apps for neuro rehabilitation.

The mytherapy website was created by the stroke and brain injury team at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

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The team, including CSP members Emma Cork and Louise Holmes, has been using apps as part of their assessment and treatment for more than four years. The new website is a toolkit for stroke patients and clinicians of apps they have found to work well.Ruth Siewruk, Mytherappy clinical lead and advanced practitioner occupational therapist, explained: ‘We searched long and hard for an existing resource of tried and tested apps to give us this information and couldn’t find one. So we decided to create one and share it freely with everyone so that other teams don’t have the same struggle.’

The website offers a database of apps that have been tested by a network of therapists and patients from across the UK.

Each app comes with a profile which includes information to help the patient, family member or clinician decide if it is suited to their needs. This includes cost, clinician rating, user rating, app description, feedback from users and what the app can help with.

Improving therapy effectiveness

Physiotherapist and neuro rehabilitation lead, Emma Cork, added: ‘We were getting a lot of interest in our work with apps from conferences and wanted to get more teams involved in reviewing the apps.

‘We now have six testing sites across the country, which are also stroke and brain injury teams, and more than 500 reviewers.’

She also believes the resource model has scope to be expanded into other rehab areas.

Ms Siewruk added that the integration of apps into all the team’s services across North Devon is improving therapy effectiveness.

‘The patients love using the apps and seem to participate more in their home exercise programme where apps are involved than if we use more traditional methods.’