About Facilitating Movement Implicitly (project)

Background and aim

Therapists, like physiotherapists and occupational therapists, are experts on motor learning. They provide treatment for patients that aims at improvement of movement skills and keeping patients at a certain activity level. 

An important target group are people with acquired neurological pathologies of the central neural system, e.g. dementia, stroke or Parkinson’s disease. These people often have problems with processing and understanding information, like instructions given by therapists.

International literature and projects show that it seems better to facilitate motor learning implicitly in patients who don’t understand all information (implicit learning) instead of trying to explain everything with words (explicit learning).

The aim of "Facilitating Movement Implicitly (FMI)"  is to hand therapists a theoretical framework, strategies and tools with which they can treat patients with cognitive impairments, and who therefore have difficulties understanding instructions targeted at improving movement.

The within this project we would like to answer the following questions

Theoretical framework

A. How are implicit motor learning strategies called, defined and performed according to international consensus of experts (among which therapists)?

B. Is the theoretical framework according to therapists feasible and useful in every day care and can it be used to argue the treatment content for patients with cognitive impairments?

Strategies and tools

C. Based on which information during treatment do therapists decide which motor learning strategy they should use?

D. How can therapists treat effectively (tasks/feedback) for patients with cognitive impairments?

E. How can technology be used to create challenging environments that facilitate patients with cognitive impairments to move (more)? 

The project was granted by Stichting Alliantie Innovatie (Innovation Alliance Foundation), RAAK-international and will be put into effects between April 2012 and April 2014.

The consortium and the additional partners

Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, the University of Maastricht and two international partners, Hong Kong University (SAR) and University of Exeter (UK) have formed a consortium together with Sevagram (nursing home setting) and Adelante Zorggroep (rehabilitation setting) to address the described research topic in order to improve the effectiveness of the treatment  of patients with cognitive impairments caused by acquired damage to the central nervous system.