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This publication is provided for historical reference only and the information may be out of date.

Cover of Post-Stroke Rehabilitation

Post-Stroke Rehabilitation

AHCPR Clinical Practice Guidelines, No. 16

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Rockville (MD): Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR); .
Report No.: 95-0062

Stroke is a leading cause of disability in older persons and an important cause of disability in younger people. Rehabilitation aims to hasten and maximize recovery from stroke by treating the disabilities caused by the stroke. It serves to restore function, teach people with disabilities new ways to perform daily activities, and provide critical education and support for the stroke survivor and family.

This Clinical Practice Guideline is intended for the use of practitioners who are responsible for the patient's care during each phase of recovery, from the acute hospitalization through subsequent rehabilitation, and after return home or to another community residence

Guideline recommendations focus on:

  • The importance of thorough, consistent, and well-documented assessment at each stage of recovery to guide treatment decisions and monitor patient progress.
  • Early implementation of rehabilitation interventions during acute care to facilitate recovery and prevent complications.
  • Selection of the type of rehabilitation program or services best suited to the patient's needs.
  • Establishment of realistic rehabilitation goals and provisions of treatment in accordance with a carefully developed rehabilitation management plan.
  • The importance of combined followup and treatment during transition to a community residence.
Emphasis is given throughout to the importance of active patient and family involvement during all stages of recovery.

Recommendations depend heavily on expert opinion, since scientific evidence on the efficacy of rehabilitation programs or individual interventions is limited. Further research is urgently needed. Nonetheless, adherence to these guidelines should help to reduce the variations that currently exist in stroke rehabilitation practices and lead to more effective use of rehabilitation facilities.


Suggested citation:

Gresham GE, Duncan PW, Stason WB, et al. Post-Stroke Rehabilitation. Clinical Practice Guideline, No. 16. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0662. May 1995.

Bookshelf ID: NBK52428


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