Stroke rehabilitation

Good DC, Bettermann K, Reichwein RK.

Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2011 Jun;17(3 Neurorehabilitation):545-67.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Despite improvements in prevention and acute management, stroke remains a common condition and a major cause of permanent disability. For patients who have had a stroke, an effective rehabilitation program is critical to maximize functional recovery and quality of life. Rehabilitation can occur in a number of different physical settings and is often coordinated by a comprehensive interdisciplinary team of professionals. Rehabilitation includes retraining to regain loss of function and teaching compensatory strategies when that is not possible. A number of interesting training approaches have been developed in recent years to supplement more traditional rehabilitation programs. A variety of adaptive devices is available to improve mobility and performance of self-cares, and these devices should be prescribed for appropriate patients. Physicians caring for patients during stroke rehabilitation must be aware of potential medical complications, as well as a number of special problems that may complicate recovery, including dysphagia, urinary incontinence, shoulder pain, spasticity, falls, and poststroke depression. Involvement of the patient and caregivers in the rehabilitation process is essential. It is important to train and educate these individuals in the physical aspects of poststroke care, the expectations for recovery, and secondary stroke prevention. Issues related to community reintegration, including driving and vocational aspects, should be addressed in appropriate patients. Stroke rehabilitation is an important part of the “stroke continuum of care,” which includes prevention, acute management, rehabilitation, and secondary prevention.

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