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Stepping Up to Rethink the Future of Rehabilitation: IV STEP Considerations and Inspirations

Kimberley, Teresa Jacobson PT, PhD; Novak, Iona OT, PhD; Boyd, Lara PT, PhD; Fowler, Eileen PT, PhD; Larsen, Deborah PT, PhD

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: July 2017 - Volume 41 - Issue - p S63–S72
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000182
Special Interest Articles

Background and Purpose: The IV STEP conference challenged presenters and participants to consider the state of science in rehabilitation, highlighting key area of progress since the previous STEP conference related to prediction, prevention, plasticity, and participation in rehabilitation.

Key Points: Emerging from the thought-provoking discussions was recognition of the progress we have made as a profession and a call for future growth. In this summary article, we present a recap of the key points and call for action. We review the information presented and the field at large as it relates to the 4 Ps: prediction, prevention, plasticity, and participation.

Recommendations for Practice: Given that personalized medicine is an increasingly important approach that was clearly woven throughout the IV STEP presentations, we took the liberty of adding a fifth “P,” Personalized, in our discussion of the future direction of the profession.

Department of Physical Medicine, Division of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (T.J.K.); Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, Australia (I.N.); Department of Physical Therapy and Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia (L.B.); Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Center for Cerebral Palsy, University of California, Los Angeles (E.F.) and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus (D.L.).

Correspondence: Teresa Jacobson Kimberley, PT, PhD, Department of Physical Medicine, Division of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Minnesota, MMC 388, 420 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (

All authors received honorarium for participating in the IV STEP conference, but no other sources of funding were associated with this work.

This manuscript is a summary of presentations and discussion at the IV STEP conference, July 2016.

No conflicts of interest are declared.

© 2017 Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, APTA