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1. Citation: Braun, S. M., Beurskens, A. J., Borm, P. J., Schack, T., & Wade, D. T. (2006). The effects of mental practice in stroke rehabilitation: A systematic review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87, 842-852.
Keywords: activities of daily living, psychotherapy, quality of life, rehabilitation, stroke, mental practice
Abstract: Background: Stroke is a major cause of disability and mobility impairment among adults in the United States. Rehabilitation is an important part of recovering from stroke. In addition to traditional physical, speech, and occupational therapies, many researchers recommend the use of mental practice techniques for patients recovering from stroke. During mental practice, an internal representation of the movement is activated and the execution of the movement repeatedly mentally simulated, without physical activity, within a chosen context. It is used for the goal-oriented improvement or stabilization of a given movement. Although mental practice techniques and syntheses of research have been conducted in sports psychology, there is a need to synthesize research studies on the use of mental practice for stroke recovery.

Objectives:
To assess the effects of mental practice interventions on stroke recovery.

Search strategy:
The authors conducted a search of data sources including the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO, Pedro, Rehadat, and RehabTrials. The researchers searched for articles that were published through August 2005.

Selection criteria:
A total of 10 articles were selected for the synthesis, including 4 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 1 controlled clinical trial (CCT), 2 patient series, and 3 case reports that investigated the effects of a mental practice intervention on recovery of stroke patients.

Data collection and analysis: The authors extracted data from the included studies and used the Amsterdam-Maastricht Consensus List for Quality Assessment to rate the quality of each study.

Main results: Although results indicate positive effect of mental practice as an additional therapy on rehabilitation from stroke, the types of mental practice interventions and outcome measures varied. As such, no meta-analysis of data could be conducted.

Conclusions: While there is some evidence that mental practice therapy has positive effects on recovery of arm function, the authors report that concrete conclusions cannot be drawn at this time. There is a need for additional research on mental practice and outcome measurement to substantiate effectiveness.
Full-Text Availability Options:This publisher of this journal charges a fee.
Link to Full Text:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16731221
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003999306002036
Record Updated:2016-12-22
 

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