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Motor Imagery Practice in Neurological Rehabilitation

This study has been completed.
Oxford Brookes University
Information provided by:
Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust Identifier:
First received: February 5, 2008
Last updated: May 1, 2009
Last verified: May 2009

Motor imagery is a technique widely used in learning skills. Its effectiveness has been proven in various sports and in musicians. A recent review (Braun et al. 2006) suggested that this technique may also be effective in rehabilitation of patients with neurological disease or damage, but that further research was needed.

The main purpose of this research is to discover whether motor imagery practice is beneficial in the rehabilitation of skills in patients who have some disability due to neurological disease or damage. The principal research question is: are physiotherapy and occupational therapy given incorporating motor imagery more effective than standard care (i.e., the same therapies but without integrated motor imagery) in re-training task specific performance for patients with neurological disease or damage?

Condition Intervention Phase
Brain Injury
Multiple Sclerosis
Behavioral: Motor imagery practice
Other: Standard physiotherapy and occupational therapy
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: An Integrated Motor Imagery Program in Rehabilitation - a RCT

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Goal Attainment Scaling [ Time Frame: After 6 and 12 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Motor imagery questionnaire [ Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, 12 weeks ]
  • Timed up and go [ Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, 12 weeks ]
  • Action research arm test [ Time Frame: Baseline, 6 weeks, 12 weeks ]

Estimated Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: February 2008
Study Completion Date: April 2009
Primary Completion Date: April 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1

All patients will receive the occupational therapy and physiotherapy normally given in their setting.

In addition; the experimental group will receive 2 instruction DVD's introducing them to motor imagery practice, taking 35 minutes in total. The research therapist will also attend the first session with the physiotherapist and with the occupational therapist to help incorporate motor imagery within the therapy. Thereafter the therapist will help the patient use motor imagery as part of their normal treatment. The total amount spent on motor imagery during therapy sessions will be 6.5 hours in 6 weeks.

Behavioral: Motor imagery practice
During motor imagery practice a person imagines performing a skill or movement with all its sensory consequences without actually moving. In this study the therapists follow a motor imagery guideline designed for rehabilitation of skills and movement performance in subjects with neurological disease or damage. The guideline offers therapists structure and a strategy to deliver subject-specific imagery. The guideline is based on three major frameworks, namely; principles of motor learning, phased process of human movement and a training guide for sports coaches and performers from the National Coaching Foundation.
Active Comparator: 2

All patients will receive the occupational therapy and physiotherapy normally given in their setting.

In addition; the control group will receive 2 DVDs for 35 minutes in total. These will show background information on their condition, explaining the importance of practice of activities, and on the principles of motor learning and phased movement which underlie most therapy.The research therapist will also attend the first session with the physiotherapist and with the occupational therapist to control for attention. The total amount the physiotherapist and occupational therapist spend with the patients should be the same in both groups.

Other: Standard physiotherapy and occupational therapy
Patients with neurological disease or damage will receive standard physiotherapy and occupational therapy.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Participating in a rehabilitation program for problems arising secondary to disease or damage affecting the central nervous system (usually stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis)
  • Over 18 years of age
  • Have sufficient language and memory skills to undertake the intervention (i.e. score positive on the first three items of the Sheffield screening test)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Any co-morbidity that would interfere with the ability to perform imagery as judged by the clinician or from the medical notes (e.g., schizophrenia)
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00618085

United Kingdom
Oxford Centre for Enablement
Oxford, United Kingdom, OX3 7LD
Sponsors and Collaborators
Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust
Oxford Brookes University
Principal Investigator: Thamar J Bovend'Eerdt, MSc Oxford Centre for Enablement
Study Director: Derick T Wade, MD Oxford Centre for Enablement
  More Information

Responsible Party: Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust, NHS Identifier: NCT00618085     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 07/H0605/84NOC
Study First Received: February 5, 2008
Last Updated: May 1, 2009

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Multiple Sclerosis
Brain Injuries
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System
Nervous System Diseases
Demyelinating Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Craniocerebral Trauma
Trauma, Nervous System
Wounds and Injuries processed this record on May 25, 2017