Uptake of technology for neurorehabilitation in clinical practice: a scoping review

Margit Alt Murphy, Sujata Pradhan, Mindy F. Levin, Nicola Hancock (Lead Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Technology-based interventions offer many opportunities to enhance neurorehabilitation, with associated research activity gathering pace. Despite this, translation to use in clinical practice has lagged research innovation. An overview of the current ‘state-of-play’ regarding the extent of clinical uptake and factors that might influence use of technologies is required. This scoping review explored: what is the uptake of technologies as neurorehabilitation interventions in clinical practice; and what factors are reported to influence their uptake?
We carried out a systematic scoping review with narrative synthesis and evidence mapping. Studies of any design reporting uptake/implementation of technology (wearables, virtual reality, robotics, exergaming) for movement neurorehabilitation after stroke and other neurological conditions were sought via a formal search strategy in MEDLINE (Ovid), CINAHL, AMED, EMBASE. Full text screening and data extraction were completed independently by two reviewers.
Of 609 studies returned, 25 studies were included after title, abstract and full-text screening. Studies investigated a range of technologies, at various stages of development. Only four of the included studies explored the sustained use of technology in practice. Five themes emerged representing experiences of technology use: perceived usefulness, technology design, social interaction, integration with services and suggested improvements to enhance uptake.
Reporting of uptake and use of neurorehabilitation technologies in clinical practice is limited. The synthesis provided comprehensive knowledge of barriers and facilitators to uptake to be considered in future protocols, including a steep learning curve required to engage with technology, a need for a supportive organisational culture, and for user involvement in both design and development.
This scoping review has provided indicators, from current evidence, of important factors to consider when planning research into, and clinical implementation of, technologies for neurorehabilitation. It serves to support an evidence-based, user-centred platform for improved research and translation of technologies to neurorehabilitation clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Jul 2023

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