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Expert Rev Neurother. 2007 Aug;7(8):1013-9.

Benefits of occupational therapy in stroke rehabilitation.

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Department of Occupational Therapy, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, London, UK.


Stroke is the largest single cause of severe physical disability and rehabilitation to reduce functional deficits is the most effective treatment. Occupational therapists play a central role in rehabilitation as members of a multidisciplinary team. Occupational therapy is a client-centered profession that uses meaningful activities across the spectrum of physical and mental domains to reduce limitations after stroke. Where remediation is not possible, occupational therapists implement compensatory strategies to promote independence. Rehabilitation is based on the concept of brain plasticity, which implies that it is possible to modulate or facilitate cerebral reorganization by external inputs. Occupational therapy activities are specifically geared to promote this re-education process and encourage the development of lost skills while accommodating for specific physical, cognitive or affective impairments. Principles of motor, sensory, cognitive and affective rehabilitation are incorporated into effective task-specific activities and environments are adapted to create the optimum conditions for successful rehabilitation. Several promising new rehabilitation approaches, based on neuropsychology and technological advances, have been developed to complement therapy inputs and exploit the brain's capacity to recover from stroke.

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