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Intrinsic motivation
  1. Harry McNaughton1,2,
  2. Vivian Fu1,3
  1. 1Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2Stroke Department, Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, UK
  3. 3Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Harry McNaughton, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand; harry.mcnaughton{at}


The prevailing wisdom in neurological rehabilitation, and particularly for stroke, is that physical therapies are the key to improvements in function. Despite accepting the importance of ‘the motivated patient’, the lack of simple, proven ways to improve intrinsic motivation has hindered efforts to combine physical therapies with motivation. Now there is available a simple, free, well-validated approach to encourage intrinsic motivation (‘Take Charge’). The benefits for people who had a stroke are well-established but this could be applied to people with a range of neurological and other disorders. We provide the evidential support for this approach and suggest ways of incorporating it into daily practice.


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  • Twitter @TakechargeH

  • Contributors HM and VF were equally responsible for conception of the idea, writing and final editing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests HM and VF were both in the research team for the Take Charge randomised trials. Neither have any commercial interest in Take Charge materials (they are all free) or training (also free). HM’s research fund receives a small royalty from sales of the paperback version of ‘Sam’s Gift’ but the eBook version is available free from the Take Charge website.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally reviewed by Martin Turner, Oxford, UK, and Tom Hughes, Cardiff, UK.

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