Stroke Rehabilitation: Evidence-based or evidence-tinged?
Marion F. Walker
The evidence to support stroke rehabilitation has expanded dramatically in the last decade. In order to ensure that the resultant research findings can be generalized to all patients after stroke, research in the next decade must shift to multicentre trial activity. Published evidence from the stroke unit, early supported discharge and out-patient trials is strong and supports the beneficial effects of these stroke rehabilitation services. Evidence for individual therapeutic practices is continuing to develop, but in many areas further research is required. The benefits of task-specific interventions and the need to practise these with intensity are core findings from the current research literature. Technological and capacity-building advances, along with newly developing stroke research networks, will ensure that the future of stroke rehabilitation is strong and progressing towards becoming truly evidence-based.