OPSYRIS is a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR). The aim of the group is to facilitate conduct and dissemination of research into psychological aspects of stroke, inform evidence-based clinical practice in stroke psychology services, and promote consideration of psychological factors in stroke research and clinical settings. We also encourage links between research and clinical practice.
History: The idea for OPSYRIS was conceived after a meeting held at Birmingham University in 2002 to launch the British Psychological Society Division of Neuropsychology/Division of Clinical Psychology guidance on stroke services.
After the meeting, which had focussed largely on service issues, a group formed to consider knowledge about psychological factors in stroke and how they could be developed and enhanced, and the range of psychological approaches available for stroke survivors and carers expanded. It was felt that the establishment of a psychologists’ stroke research group would encourage psychological research into stroke and achieve our aspirations. The first meeting was held in Nottingham in 2002 and attended by 12 people.
Eighteen meetings later, held in 16 different UK cities, we are delighted to have witnessed our numbers increase to over 220-strong.
At inception, the OPSYRIS membership and remit had an exclusive focus on the disciplines of clinical and neuropsychology. As the importance and visibility of post stroke psychological problems has grown, it was important that OPSYRIS should grow also. Now the only criterion for being part of the OPSYRIS family is a passion for improving the psychological effects of stroke.
Activity: At the heart of our group’s activity are annual meetings, traditionally taking place in early Autumn. This is an opportunity for researchers and clinicians at all career stages to come together to share and discuss their work in a friendly and open environment. Each meeting features a keynote lecture, designed to celebrate the very best in stroke psychology research and inspire the next generation of researchers. In 2018, we also initiated awarding a Rising Star Prize to an outstanding early career researcher or clinician, to promote widespread recognition of individual novel contributions to our field.
However, our initiative does not stop there…
Throughout the year we circulate news and updates on relevant job openings, training, conferences and ongoing studies. We promote a supportive community and encourage dialogue between members.