Online course in Neurological Rehabilitation


Neurological disorders constitute 6.3% of the global burden of disease and are predicted to contribute to 103 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 2030 [1]. They include conditions resulting from vascular disease (e.g. stroke), infections (e.g. encephalitis, polio), trauma (e.g. brain and spinal cord injury), peripheral nervous system disorders (e.g. Guillain-Barré syndrome, peripheral neuropathy) and degenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis).

Damage to the nervous system may lead to a number of disabilities. These include: 

  • Motor dysfunction resulting from paralysis or paresis, disorders of muscle tone, and incoordination
  • Cognitive dysfunction, encompassing disorders of thinking, memory, and communication
  • Visuo-perceptual dysfunction which affects the ability to recognise objects and spatial orientation
  • Incontinence of bladder and bowel
  • Pain ,especially neuropathic and central pain directly resulting from nervous system damage
These disabilities are rarely present in isolation and require careful management. Rehabilitation mitigates the effects of neurological disorders and ensures that patients realise their optimal physical, emotional and social potential, and full participation in society. It involves a coordinated and iterative problem-solving process along the continuum of care from the acute hospital to the community [1]. Rehabilitation physicians provide specialist knowledge and expertise in the prevention, assessment, and medical supervision of a person with a disabiity, with management being provided by a skilled interdisciplinary team.
This e-learning professional development course provides approximately 20 hours of content, divided into structured tutorials, assessments, and case studies to reinforce learning. It provides an update on the basic principles of management of disabilites resulting from a neurological condition and incorporates the best available evidence. The course is suitable for clinicians working in rehabilitation, including rehabilitation physicians, general practitioners, rehabilitation trainees, medical students, nurses, and allied health professionals.
Reference: [1] World Health Organization. Neurological disorders: public health challenges. 2006, World Health Organization

Learning outcomes:

  1. Understand the impact of various disabilities on patient outcomes in terms of function and participation
  2. Understand how to assess, manage/treat and prognosticate outcomes for patients with a range of disabilities in accord with best evidence
  3. Apply knowledge to address specific complications and comorbidities associated with various neurological conditions
  4. Outline a rehabilitation “action plan’ appropriate for patients with a neurological condition

Article by Prof Mary Galea and Prof Fary Khan