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July2012 Vol.49 Issue:        3       (Supp.) Table of Contents
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A Systematic Review of Efficacy of Mental Practice in Chronic Stroke Rehabilitation

Shorouk A.W. El-Shennawy1, Abeer A. El-Wishy2

Departments of Pediatrics1, Neuromuscular2, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University; Egypt


Background: Although the beneficial effects of mental practice on motor function after stroke have been reported by several groups. However, it has not been determined yet, when it is best to start mental practice for stroke rehabilitation; acute or chronic stage. Objective: The aim of this 2nd part of systematic reviews is to assess the effectiveness of mental practice on functional recovery when applied in chronic stage of stroke patients. Methods: A systematic literature search of electronic databases were performed by 2 researchers independently who screened and selected all randomized controlled trials that investigated the effects of mental practice on functional recovery when applied in chronic stage of stroke patient. Eligible studies published till June 2011 were selected. Results: A total of 5 randomized controlled trials were included in this systematic review. The included studies were of high quality. Results suggest that mental practice combined with physical practice improves functional recovery. Conclusions: Mental practice remains a promising motor intervention for chronic stroke rehabilitation. However a relatively small body of evidence for application mental practice in different recovery stages of stroke patient still exists. Future studies employing high quality research with research designed at the upper levels of the hierarchy of evidence are recommended to strengthen the present evidence. [Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg.  2012; 49(3): 173-180]

 Key Words: Mental practice; Motor imagery; Stroke; Hemiplegia; Motor recovery; Functional recovery

Correspondence to Shorouk El-Shennawy, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University. Tel.: 0020145333387   e-mail:

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