Physical therapy to improve movement performance and functional ability poststroke. Part 2. A research direction.
Physical therapy forms a large part of the multi-professional package of stroke care which has been shown to save lives and reduce disability, effects which may be maintained in the longer term. More specifically, physical therapy may improve performance of movement and functional ability poststroke, especially in the form of exercise-based interventions, and increased intensity of physical therapy may bring increased benefit. However, there is little evidence on which to base clinical decisions about what interventions to give to which patients, in what intensity and at what stage in the recovery process. In short, much of physical therapy practice remains based on clinical belief rather than objective evidence and robust research is needed.
c1 Address for correspondence: V M Pomeroy, The Stroke Association’s Therapy Research Unit, Clinical Sciences Building, Hope Hospital, Eccles Old Road, Salford M6 8HD, UK.