Repetitive task training can improve functional ability after stroke

Clinical question: 
Can repetitive task training after stroke improve functional ability?
Bottom line: 
In comparison with usual care or placebo groups, repetitive task training resulted in modest improvement in lower limb function, but not upper limb function.These improvements affected walking speed, walking distance and the ability to stand from sitting, but improvements in leg function were not maintained 6 months later.There was also a small amount of improvement in ability to manage activities of daily living.
Caveat: 
There is no evidence improvements are sustained once training has ended.Training effects were no different for people whether early or late after stroke.
Context: 
Stroke can cause problems with movement, often down one side of the body. All limbs can be affected and, while some recovery is common over time, about one-third of people will have continuing problems. Only 18% of people regain unrestricted walking ability after stroke.
Review CD#: 
CD006073
PEARLS No: 
105
Date: 
February, 2008
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy