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Research Article  |   September 2009
Changing Face of Stroke: Implications for Occupational Therapy Practice
Author Affiliations
  • Timothy J. Wolf, OTD, MSCI, OTR/L, is Instructor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology and Investigator, Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Group, Washington University School of Medicine, 4444 Forest Park Avenue, Campus Box 8505, St. Louis, MO 63108; wolft@wustl.edu
  • Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology, Elias Michael Director of Program in Occupational Therapy, and Principal Investigator, Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Group, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Radiology, and Neurology and Principal Investigator, Clinical Core, Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Group, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Stroke / Descriptive and Exploratory Studies
Research Article   |   September 2009
Changing Face of Stroke: Implications for Occupational Therapy Practice
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2009, Vol. 63, 621-625. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.5.621
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2009, Vol. 63, 621-625. doi:10.5014/ajot.63.5.621
Abstract

Stroke is one of the most life-altering syndromes affecting the world population. Rehabilitation for people experiencing stroke is focused almost exclusively on self-care activities and being able to return home and has little to no focus on work rehabilitation or community reintegration. The Cognitive Rehabilitation Research Group (CRRG) at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis was formed with the vision of improving everyday life for people after stroke by translating knowledge from neuroscience into treatment programs for productive living. Descriptive analysis of the intake assessment from the CRRG Clinical Core (N = 7,740) revealed three important findings: The age at stroke is decreasing, most strokes are neurologically mild to moderate in nature, and discharge placement decisions are being made largely on the basis of measures of impairment. The changes in the stroke population require occupational therapy to expand rehabilitation beyond the acute management of stroke to address full participation in work, family, and community life.