Neuro-rehabilitation services are essential in reducing post-stroke impairments, enhancing independence, and improving recovery in hospital and post-discharge. However these services are therapist-dependent and resource intensive. Patients’ disengagement and boredom in stroke units are common which adversely affect functional and psychological outcomes. Novel techniques such as use of iPads™ are increasingly researched to overcome such challenges.
The aim of this review is to determine the feasibility, effectiveness, acceptability, and barriers to the use of iPads™ in stroke neuro-rehabilitation. Four databases and manual literature search were used to identify published studies using the terms “iPad”, “Stroke”, and “neuro-rehabilitation”. Studies were included in accordance with the review selection criteria. A total of 16 articles were included in the review. The majority of the studies focused on iPads use in speech and language therapy. Although of small scale, the studies highlighted that iPads are feasible, have the potential to improve rehabilitation outcomes, and can improve patient’s social isolation. Patients’ stroke severity and financial limitations are some of the barriers highlighted in this review. This review presents preliminary data supportive for the use of iPad technology in stroke neuro-rehabilitation. However, further research is needed to determine impact on rehabilitation goals acquisition, clinical efficacy, and cost-efficiency.