Current clinical practices in stroke rehabilitation: Regional pilot survey

Pradeep Natarajan, Ashley Oelschlager, Arvin Agah, Patricia S. Pohl, S. Omar Ahmad, Wen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study was aimed at understanding the current physical and occupational therapy practices in stroke rehabilitation in the Midwest. The insights gained from this pilot study will be used in a future study aimed at understanding stroke rehabilitation practices across the nation. Researchers and clinicians in the field of stroke rehabilitation were interviewed, and past studies in the literature were analyzed. Through these activities, we developed a 37-item questionnaire that was sent to occupational and physical therapists practicing in Kansas and Missouri who focus on the care of people who have had a stroke (n = 320). A total of 107 respondents returned a completed questionnaire, which gives a response rate of about 36%. The majority of respondents had more than 12 years of experience treating patients with stroke. Consensus of 70% or more was found for 80% of the items. The preferred approaches for the rehabilitation of people who have had a stroke are the Bobath and Brunnstrom methods, which are being used by 93% and 85% of the physical and occupational therapists, respectively. Even though some variability existed in certain parts of the survey, in general clinicians agreed on different treatment approaches in issues dealing with muscle tone, weakness, and limited range of motion in stroke rehabilitation. Some newer treatment approaches that have been proven to be effective are practiced only by a minority of clinicians. The uncertainty among clinicians in some sections of the survey reveals that more evidence on clinical approaches is needed to ensure efficacious treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-850
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • CIMT
  • Current practices
  • NDT
  • Occupational therapist
  • PNF
  • Physical therapist
  • Questionnaire
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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