Upper limb rehabilitation dosage for people with neurological conditions

Evidence, recommendations and examples of implementation

Lecture and case-based training • 4 hours • English & Dutch

Therapy dosage is very important in upper limb rehabilitation for persons with different neurological conditions. At present, however, it is very difficult to define the optimal therapy dose for these persons.

This REVAL Academy course will provide participants with

  • a general framing of therapy dosage
  • a state of the art overview of therapy dosage within persons with stroke, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury
  • an overview of good practices and examples of implementations

As keynote speaker we welcome Prof. Nick Ward (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London) with his extensive expertise in therapy dosage in stroke patients.

UHasselt corporate

Target audience

Therapists with an interest in neurological rehabilitation.

Date and time

The REVAL Academy course will take place on Saturday October 22, 2022.

  • Start 8:30 am CET
  • Expected end time 1:00 pm CET



Programme item

08:45 am

Training dosage in upper limb rehabilitation: general introduction

by Prof. Dr. Annemie Spooren

Therapy dosage is very important in the rehabilitation of the upper limb for persons with different neurological conditions. In this introductory session, a general framework on therapy dosage will be provided. The different therapy dose dimensions, which could be taken into account while configuring a training program on the upper limb, will be elaborated.

09:00 am

A Framework for promoting recovery after stroke

by Prof. Dr. Nick Ward

Stroke is the leading cause of complex adult disability in the world. Recovery from stroke is often incomplete, which leaves many people dependent on others for their care. The improvement of long-term outcomes should, therefore, be a clinical and research priority. However, we are failing in two key areas. Firstly, there is a long history of providing too little rehabilitation training in the belief that no further recovery is possible. I will discuss the current state of upper limb rehabilitation and describe the experiences of the Queen Square Upper Limb Neurorehabilitation Programme. Secondly, based on work in animal models there are perceived
opportunities to manipulate post-stroke biological mechanisms to promote recovery. However, this biomedical approach in humans has been hugely disappointing. I will discuss where we have gone wrong and perhaps how to put it right. The challenge ahead is to develop a mechanistic understanding of recovery from stroke in humans so that we know who to treat, when, and why.

10:00 am

What is the optimal session length of upper limb rehabilitation of people with moderate to severe upper limb sensorimotor impairments in the early stage of stroke?

by Dr. Lisa Tedesco Triccas

From a recent systematic review that we conducted we identified that different rehabilitation approaches seem to improve severe upper limb impairments in the sub-acute stage after stroke. However, the different rehabilitation approaches are not distinctly superior over standard care or other interventions provided at the same dosage. We now want to identify the feasibility of providing higher dosage of therapy from 3 days to one month post-stroke for people with moderate to severe impairments.

10:30 am 

Coffee break

11:15 am

Therapy dosage in upper limb rehabilitation of cervical spinal cord injury: a literature overview and clinical research examples

by Nele Bertels

Therapy dosage may play an important role on upper limb recovery in people with cervical spinal cord injury (pw C-SCI). This session will provide an overview of the current literature on therapy dosage in upper limb rehabilitation in pw C-SCI. Furthermore, some examples of current studies on therapy dosage in pw C-SCI will be explained.

11:45 am

Upper limb rehabilitation dosage in persons with Multiple Sclerosis: a literature overview and an example

by Dr. Ilse Lamers

This lecture will provide an overview on the current literature on therapy dosage in MS and discusses the protocol and results of a pilot study investigating the intensity dependent effect of individualized task-oriented upper limb training.

12:15 pm

Intensive arm-hand BOOST therapy to improve recovery of the upper limb after stroke

by Dr. Sarah Meyer

The intensive arm-hand BOOST program was developed by a team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists at the rehabilitation centre of the Jessa Hospital in Herk-de-Stad.
During this session, the structure and neurophysiological basis of the program will be explained based on state-of-the-art literature and clinical experience. Practical examples from the programme will further complement this.
In this session, attention will be paid to the key ingredients of intensive therapy after a stroke, the feasibility, safety and effectiveness, and the barriers and facilitators in implementing these new rehabilitation programs in hospitals.

12:45 pm

Closing session


Spooren Annemie

Annemie Spooren is assistant professor at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences at Hasselt University. She teaches among other neurological rehabilitation in the program of Physiotherapy and (technology supported) innovation in rehabilitation in the master of
Occupational Sciences. Her research focuses on goal-oriented and task-oriented training in persons with different neurological disorders (spinal cord injury and stroke) with a special interest in upper limb rehabilitation within an interdisciplinary context.

Ward Nick

Nick Ward is a Professor of Clinical Neurology & Neurorehabilitation at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square. He is lead of the first dedicated upper limb neurorehabilitation programme in the UK. His work seeks to understand the mechanisms of recovery of movement after stroke so that we might predict both optimal treatments and long term outcomes of upper limb impairment after stroke. He is Co-editor of the Oxford Textbook of Neurorehabilitation, Deputy Editor of the Journal for Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry and Associate Editor of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.

Lisa Tabone

Lisa Tedesco Triccas is currently a postdoctoral fellow with a passion and motivation which was installed in her during her clinical practice, and that is to understand and promote sensorimotor recovery of people with stroke. As a result, her research integrates the investigation of different doses of upper limb rehabilitation programmes with behavioural and neurophysiological assessments in people with acute and chronic stroke.

Bertels Nele

Nele Bertels graduated as an occupational therapist in 2015 and obtained her master's degree in occupational science in 2019. From 2015 to 2021, she worked as an occupational therapist in neurological rehabilitation at the rehabilitation centre Pellenberg, UZ Leuven. In September 2021, Nele started her PhD focusing on training components of task-oriented upper limb rehabilitation in people with cervical spinal cord injury.

Lamers Ilse

Ilse Lamers graduated as a physiotherapist in 2008, and received her PhD in rehabilitation sciences in 2014. Ilse is now working as a postdoctoral research fellow at REVAL Rehabilitation Research center, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences of Hasselt University. Her scientific research focuses on the evaluation and rehabilitation of trunk and upper limb function in persons with a neurological disorder (Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebrovascular accident). Ilse combines her job at the university with her job as manager of rehabilitation services in Noorderhart Rehabilitation and MS center Pelt. Ilse is a member of different national and European organisations of neurorehabilitation and MS research.

Meyers Sarah

Sarah Meyer obtained her master's degree in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy with a specialization in neurological rehabilitation at KU Leuven in 2010 . In 2015 she obtained a PhD at KU Leuven with her research on sensory disorders in the upper limb after stroke. Since 2018, Sarah has been appointed at the Jessa Hospital as a scientific assistant to coordinate research within the physical medicine and rehabilitation department.


  • Campus Diepenbeek, building D
  • Easy to reach by train, bike, bus and car
  • A 20 min bike ride from Hasselt city centre

Campus Diepenbeek

UHasselt corporate

Agoralaan, 3590 Diepenbeek

Registration fees

The registration fee is € 85 incl. VAT.

UHasselt bachelor and master students and UHasselt internship mentors pay a registration fee of € 45 incl. VAT.


Pro-Q-Kine accreditation (for physiotherapists active in Flanders, Belgium): 8 points .


Nathalie Luyck | UHasselt School of Expert Education

Luyck Nathalie


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