American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke Guidelines


  • The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has issued its first guidelines on adult stroke rehabilitation calling for intensive, multidisciplinary treatment. 
  • Before leaving the hospital, patients and caregivers should receive a formal falls-prevention program to prevent accidents at home. 
  • The consistency of the findings in favor of IRF referral suggests that stroke survivors who qualify for IRF services should receive this care in preference to SNF-based care. 
  • Other recommendations issued by the AHA/ASA include: 
    • Stroke patients who have trouble walking should undergo intense mobility-task training to help relearn how to perform daily activities, such as climbing stairs. 
    • Stroke patients who have trouble speaking should undergo speech therapy. 
    • Balance training should be offered to stroke survivors at risk for falls. 
    • Exercise regimens tailored to individual stroke patients can help them continue to improve their fitness level once their rehabilitation is complete.

For a full reprint of the press release, click here.  You can also download the full guidelines (73 page journal article), by clicking here. The full guidelines should not be reproduced without express permission from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 


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