Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Cerebrovascular Disorders -- rehabilitation


Stroke is the largest single cause of neurologic crippling in the United States, with approximately 550 000 Americans having a new or recurrent stroke each year. The costs associated with strokes are estimated at $30 billion annually. Due to the continuing decline of the health care dollar, stroke rehabilitation units must be designed to reduce functional limitations and disabilities in both a timely and cost effective manner.

The goals of stroke rehabilitation are to reduce functional limitations, prevent complications, educate the patient and family, and improve the patient's quality of life. A proper rehabilitation setting and active participation by the patient and family are important factors in successful stroke rehabilitation. From the literature reviewed, it does not necessarily matter which treatment approach is utilized but early intervention, along with a comprehensive stroke rehabilitation unit, is crucial for functional improvements.

The purpose of this study is twofold; (1) to conduct a literature search to provide a review of epidemiology, etiology, manifestations, and rehabilitation of stroke, (2) present a case study and video showing the physical therapy progression, through stroke rehabilitation, along with complications which can deter the whole process. The intent of this project is to assist physical therapy students and clinicians in gaining a better understanding of the stroke rehabilitation process.