Disability and use of rehabilitation services following stroke in rochester, minnesota, 1975 -1979

Mary L. Dombovy, Jeffrey R. Basford, Jack P. Whisnant, Erik J. Bergstralh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Medical records of all residents of Rochester, Minnesota, who had a first stroke in 1975-1979 were reviewed to determine level of disability, disposition, and use of rehabilitation services. Of the 292 persons with a first stroke, 251 (86%) (mean age 70 years) survived >1 week. The mean Rankin disability score (Grade 1, no disability, through Grade 5, severe disability) changed from 1.7 before stroke to 2.8 in survivors at hospital discharge; 29% of those discharged required further institutional care. The level of disability in survivors remained relatively constant from 6 months after stroke through 5 years of observation. Of the 112 patients with an admission score of 5,40 (36%) were alive at 1 year and only 5 of those (13%) improved to relative independence (Rankin scores of 1or 2). Themost common comorbidity contributing to disability was cardiovascular disease (31%). After the first 18 months, the mortality in patients with stroke was similar to that in a normal population having the same age and sex distribution. Of the 2511-week survivors, 132 (53%) had rehabilitation (physiatrist) evaluations, 127 (51%) received physical therapy, 103 (41%) received occupational therapy, and 33 (13%) received speech therapy. Thirty-four of the 132 patients (26%) referred for rehabilitation evaluations were transferred to the rehabilitation unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-836
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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