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Stroke and the Younger Adult: Recommendations for Occupational Therapy

By Kara Black and Callie Schneider


Occupational therapy (OT) is an integral component of the rehabilitation process for individuals who have sustained stroke. As the number of individuals sustaining and surviving stroke in the United States has consistently risen over the past decades (Bartels, 2011), it is anticipated that stroke prevalence from 2010 will have a 25% increase by the year 2030 (American Heart Association (AHA), 2011). In addition, a current trend in research has been found, indicating an increase in the incidence of stroke within the young and middle-aged, or younger, adult population between the ages of 18 and 55 years (AHA, 2011). An extensive review of the literature was conducted with a focus on statistics, risk factors, and the impact of stroke to examine the unique effect of stroke on younger adults. Although stroke survivors at every age experience limitations in a variety of areas of occupation, the literature revealed that younger stroke survivors experience stroke differently than older survivors do (Stone, 2005b; Wolf, Baum, & Connor, 2009). As research supports the rising rates of stroke in the younger adult population and the unique impact of stroke on younger survivors, it is evident that occupational therapists will be providing more services to younger stroke survivors and must be adequately prepared to do so. Therefore, the purpose of this scholarly project is to increase occupational therapists’ awareness of this trend and provide evidence-based recommendations that are unique to younger stroke survivors through the submission of the article, Stroke and the Younger Adult – Recommendations for Occupational Therapy. The development of the content and structure of Stroke and the Younger Adult – Recommendations for Occupational Therapy was based off of the significant findings from the literature and guided by the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement (CMOP-E). Stroke and the Younger Adult – Recommendations for Occupational Therapy includes a brief literature review with supporting evidence and recommendations unique to younger survivors for occupational therapists to use as a guide throughout the acute, inpatient, and outpatient phases of rehabilitation. In addition, the article concludes with a case study to highlight the differing areas of occupation that are impacted by stroke in younger survivors. Through the submission of Stroke and the Younger Adult – Recommendations for Occupational Therapy, it is hoped that awareness of this upcoming trend will increase and occupational therapists will be enabled to maintain a client-centered approach to therapy when working to meet the unique needs of the younger stroke survivor population

Topics: Activities of Daily Living, Occupational Therapy -- methods, Stroke -- psychology, Stroke -- rehabilitation, Middle Aged, Young Adult, Occupational Therapy
Publisher: UND Scholarly Commons
Year: 2013
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