Manual for Rehabilitation Treatment Specification

The Manual for Rehabilitation Treatment Specification (hereafter, “the Manual”), was developed under contract # ME-1403-14083 from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), with John Whyte, MD, PhD at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute as Principal Investigator. The manual is an attempt to distill concepts and procedures developed by a team of researchers and clinicians over a number of years (the “Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System” or RTSS), into a procedural guide. The manual describes the procedure by which rehabilitation treatments can be defined with respect to their known or hypothesized active ingredients, rather than the current incomplete and unsatisfactory alternatives of defining treatments by discipline (“10 hours of occupational therapy”) or the problem being addressed (“6 sessions of gait training”).

We anticipate that the concepts and procedures described in the Manual will need to undergo additional development and modification as clinicians and researchers explore their implementation. However, it is important that any modifications over time be coordinated to avoid the development of conflicting adaptations by different authors.

We welcome others to explore implementation of the RTSS principles in local projects, supported by the manual. In order to use the Manual you will need to do the following:

  • Complete the form with contact information and a description of the intended use of the Manual (research, clinical, educational or other applications)
  • Agree to the following terms:
    • To make only sufficient copies of the Manual for your project, but not to allow wider dissemination.
    • Not to alter the contents of the Manual
    • To reply to requests from the RTSS development group for feedback about the Manual and RTSS based on your project’s use. The timing and nature of the feedback we will request will depend on the nature and duration of the project that you describe.
    • To cite the Manual in any publications or presentations on projects (whether research, clinical, educational or other) that involve its use. The appropriate citation is: Hart T, Whyte J, Dijkers M, Packel A, Turkstra L, Zanca J, Ferraro M, Chen C, Van Stan J: Manual of Rehabilitation Treatment Specification [], accessed [insert date of download]

You may discover, in the course of your project, that you would like to expand, modify, or alter the concepts or procedural rules contained in the Manual. This requires separate permission. If you would like to request permission to modify the Manual in any way, please contact John Whyte, MD, PhD (