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The purpose of this study was to assess the functional outcomes of first-time cerebrovascular accident survivors 1 to 5 years after rehabilitation. Subjects (n=68) consisted of individuals discharged from a regional rehabilitation center between 1992 and 1996 with the diagnosis of first-time cerebrovascular accident. The Adult Functional Independence Measure (FIM), an on-site outcomes measurement tool, was used to assess subjects' admittance and discharge total FIM scores. The Adult Functional Independence Measure, a phone interview methodology, was used to assess individuals' functional levels from 1 through 5 years after discharge from rehabilitation. Motor (Rasch Motor) and cognitive (Rasch Cognitive) components of the FIM also were analyzed over time. Data pertaining to differences in function between genders, site of lesion, family support, and whether therapy was received after discharge were collected. Data were analyzed to determine changes in function over time. Significant increases in total FIM and motor and cognitive scores occurred between admittance and discharge and between discharge and 1 year after discharge. Although not significant, slight increases were noted in all three measures up to 3 years after discharge. From 3 to 5 years after discharge, a steady decline was noted. First-time cerebrovascular accident survivors who did not experience additional medical problems continued to improve during the first 3 years after discharge from a rehabilitation center. After this time, however, declines were noted in total FIM, Rasch Motor, and Rasch Cognitive scores
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Accepted: September 30, 1997
Received: July 30, 1997
+Supported in part by the Montana Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, Missoula, MT and The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Foundation, Vancouver, WA.
© 1998 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc.