Developing Early Vocational Rehabilitation after Stroke (EVIS)


Research Framework

Maximising Participation


The EVIS project continues the research work started in the Early vocational rehabilitation following neurological disability (EVocS) study. Early intervention vocational rehabilitation is a vocational rehabilitation service that starts during the hospital rehabilitation phase, often within weeks following the onset of acquired health conditions or injuries.  It is currently being provided within NZ spinal cord injury services.  The EVocS study developed a conceptual framework that described Early Intervention Vocational Rehabilitation and developed overarching principles and considerations of how this could be used in the NZ stroke population.

Phase 1 [2022]

As preparatory work for a future health service delivery project, this phase of the study aimed to describe the current vocational rehabilitation services and RTW pathways for people with stroke admitted to Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) stroke services.

Phase 2 [2023]

We have successfully gained a 12-month HRC Activation Grant, to further progress this research programme. In this phase, we will start exploring the possibility of implementing an early intervention vocational rehabilitation programme into stroke services within the Auckland area (but are also open to any other sites).

Method (Phase 2)

To build capacity, establish relationships and engage with stakeholders, we will (a) build a national research team, (b) identify, engage and build relationships with stroke service providers (including Stroke Foundation NZ), and with Māori and Pacific communities and (c) establish a national advisory group .

Once we have established these teams, we will look to apply for further funding to develop, implement and measure the effectiveness of an Early Intervention Vocational Rehabilitation pilot into Stroke Services (the location(s) to be determined).


  • HRC Activation Grants

Status of Research

We are currently looking to establish research and advisory teams for this study.


Key Contact

Dr Rachelle Martin
Burwood Academy 
Phone:  +64 3 383 6871
Mobile:  +64 21 223 3362

Researchers and Collaborators

Dr Jennifer Dunn (Principal Investigator)
University of Otago Christchurch

Assoc. Prof. Debbie Snell
University of Otago Christchurch

National research and advisory group (TBC)