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An interdisciplinary visual team in an acute and sub-acute stroke unit: Providing assessment and early rehabilitation

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OBJECTIVE: To describe the work of an interdisciplinary visual team in a stroke unit providing early identification and assessment of patients with visual symptoms, and secondly to investigate frequency, type of visual deficits after stroke and self-evaluated impact on everyday life after stroke.

METHODS: For a period of three months, all stroke patients with visual or visuo-attentional deficits were registered, and data concerning etiology, severity and localization of the stroke and initial visual symptoms were registered. One month after discharge patients were contacted for follow-up.

RESULTS: Of 349 acute stroke admissions, 84 (24.1%) had visual or visuo-attentional deficits initially. Of these 84 patients, informed consent was obtained from 22 patients with a mean age of 67.7 years(SD 10.1), and the majority was female (59.1%). Based on the initial neurological examination, 45.4% had some kind of visual field defect, 27.2% had some kind of oculomotor nerve palsy, and about 31.8% had some kind of inattention or visual neglect. The patients were contacted for a phone-based follow-up one month after discharge, where 85.7% reported changes in their vision since their stroke.

CONCLUSION: In this consecutive sample, a quarter of all stroke patients had visual or visuo-attentional deficits initially. This emphasizes how professionals should have increased awareness of the existence of such deficits after stroke in order to provide the necessary interdisciplinary assessment and rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroRehabilitation
Volume39
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)451-61
Number of pages11
ISSN1053-8135
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 49284370