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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 15, Issue 3-4, Pages 55-63

Training-Based Interventions in Motor Rehabilitation after Stroke: Theoretical and Clinical Considerations

Annette Sterr

Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology, School of Human Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH, UK

Received 24 January 2005; Accepted 24 January 2005

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Basic neuroscience research on brain plasticity, motor learning and recovery has stimulated new concepts in neurological rehabilitation. Combined with the development of set methodological standards in clinical outcome research, these findings have led to a double-paradigm shift in motor rehabilitation: (a) the move towards evidence-based procedures for the assessment of clinical outcome & the employment of disablement models to anchor outcome parameters, and (b) the introduction of practice-based concepts that are derived from testable models that specify treatment mechanisms. In this context, constraint-induced movement therapy (CIT) has played a catalytic role in taking motor rehabilitation forward into the scientific arena. As a theoretically founded and hypothesis-driven intervention, CIT research focuses on two main issues. The first issue is the assessment of long-term clinical benefits in an increasing range of patient groups, and the second issue is the investigation of neuronal and behavioural treatment mechanisms and their interactive contribution to treatment success. These studies are mainly conducted in the research environment and will eventually lead to increased treatment benefits for patients in standard health care. However, gradual but presumably more immediate benefits for patients may be achieved by introducing and testing derivates of the CIT concept that are more compatible with current clinical practice. Here, we summarize the theoretical and empirical issues related to the translation of research-based CIT work into the clinical context of standard health care.