Family member knowledge and expectations for functional recovery after stroke

Document Type





Objective: To assess the stroke knowledge and expectations for recovery among the family members of stroke patients in an acute rehabilitation hospital.
Design: Survey study of 50 family members of stroke patients under going inpatient rehabilitation at a single urban rehabilitation hospital.
Results: Sixty percent of participants were able to identify whether their family member had sustained a cerebral hemorrhage or infarct; 48% were able to identify at least one treatment provided to their family member for his or her stroke. The average length of stay predicted byparticipants closely matched the average patient length of stay. Participants tended to overestimate the functional abilities of their family member with a stroke, both on initial assessment and discharge. This overestimation was more substantial for discharge functional ability than for initial assessment. Participants were able to predict discharge location with substantial accuracy (82% agreement, kappa.41).
Conclusions: The knowledge of stroke etiology and functional outcome of family members of individuals undergoing rehabilitation after stroke shows significant limitations. Participants’ ability to predict functional outcome on discharge was worse than their knowledge of current functional status. Participant predictions of length of stay and discharge disposition were areas of relative strength. Further efforts are needed to enhance the knowledge level of family members of patients undergoing rehabilitation after stroke.

Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation