Best practise use in stroke rehabilitation: from trials and tribulations to solutions!

Disabil Rehabil. 2010;32(8):646-9. doi: 10.3109/09638280903214640.


Purpose: This article explores the use of best practises among stroke rehabilitation professionals, salient barriers that influence their knowledge uptake/application and effective knowledge translation (KT) strategies that meet the needs of this clinician group.

Method: Relevant literature on evidence-based practise in stroke rehabilitation and the use of KT strategies among rehabilitation professionals is summarised and discussed.

Results: Although adherence to rehabilitation guidelines translates into improved patient outcomes, best practises are not routinely applied by clinicians when treating individuals with a stroke. Lack of protected work time to search and appraise the research literature is by far the largest organisational barrier to knowledge uptake/application. Personal barriers, such as the lack of confidence and skills to interpret, synthesise and apply research findings, also limit clinicians' uptake of best practises. Studies involving rehabilitation professionals found that active KT strategies were more effective than passive strategies to produce change in their evidence-based knowledge and practise behaviours. As such, interactive e-learning resources are likely to be a relevant KT solution to meet rehabilitation professionals' specific learning needs, guide their clinical decision-making and ultimately increase their best practise behaviours.

Conclusion: We have the knowledge of best practises in stroke rehabilitation, a means to disseminate that knowledge internationally through interactive e-learning resources, and information about effective KT interventions. With these opportunities in place, rehabilitation professionals can expand their capacity by adopting stroke best practises and producing better outcomes for patients.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Education, Distance
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Specialty / education
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*