Mental practice

Mental Practice

Mental practice of tasks is a relatively new therapy that is receiving increasing attention within rehabilitation research. Mental practice can be defined as: ‘‘The repetition or rehearsing imagined motor acts with the intention of improving their physical execution’’(Malouin & Richards, 2010).

Practising a skill mentally is a potential  method to increase the amount of practice during rehabilitation in a safe way with relatively low costs. After initial learning, the mental practice technique can be practiced by the patient independent from the therapist, location and time of the day.
 

2-Day workshop on applying mental practice in stroke rehabilitation is available

Treating patients after stroke is very challenging: patients are often vulnerable, especially in the (sub) acute phase of recovery, and stroke is a complex pathology which can lead to a variety  of symptoms. While it is reasonably established that the overall process of neurological rehabilitation is effective, there is little evidence to support many specific rehabilitation therapeutic techniques. Currently it seems that task orientated practice (i.e. practising an activity of relevance) is the most effective single therapeutic technique.