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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Aug;82(8):591-6.

Patient knowledge and expectations for functional recovery after stroke.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spauldin Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



Understanding the causes and outcomes of stroke is important for stroke survivors and may affect their success in rehabilitation and their risk of recurrent stroke; therefore, this study was performed to assess the knowledge and expectation of functional recovery in stroke patients undergoing acute inpatient rehabilitation.


Survey study of 50 consecutive stroke patients undergoing inpatient rehabilitation at a single urban rehabilitation hospital.


Forty-six percent of participants were able to correctly identify whether they had sustained a cerebral infarct or hemorrhage. Rehabilitation length of stay was, on average, 1 wk longer than anticipated by patients. Patients overestimated their functional abilities on initial assessment and at discharge compared with staff assessments, with some improvement in accuracy for discharge predictions. Ninety-four percent of participants expected to be discharged home, and most achieved this goal. Although no participant anticipated discharge to a nursing home, 10% of patients were discharged to this location.


Knowledge of stroke and its treatment was limited, and expectations for recovery tended to exceed actual accomplishments. There are significant areas of opportunity for enhanced educational efforts for stroke patients undergoing inpatient rehabilitation.

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