Stroke continues to be a major cause of adult disability. In contrast to progress in stroke prevention and acute medical management, there have been no major breakthroughs in rehabilitation therapies. Most stroke rehabilitation trials are conducted with patients at the chronic stage of recovery and this limits their translation to clinical practice. Encouragingly, several multi-centre rehabilitation trials, conducted during the first few weeks after stroke, have recently been reported; however, all were negative. There is a renewed focus on improving the quality of stroke rehabilitation research through greater harmonisation and standardisation of terminology, trial design, measures, and reporting. However, there is also a need for more pragmatic trials to test interventions in a way that assists their translation to clinical practice. Novel interventions with a strong mechanistic rationale need to be tested in both explanatory and pragmatic trials if we are to make a meaningful difference to stroke rehabilitation practice and outcomes.
Stinear, C. M. (2016). Stroke rehabilitation research needs to be different to make a difference [version 1; referees: 2 approved]. F1000Research. Faculty of 1000 Ltd. https://doi.org/10.12688/F1000RESEARCH.8722.1