Physical and Occupational Therapy in the Acute and Community Settings Following Stroke: Are Patients Getting the Care They Need?

Janet K. Freburger, PT, PhD; Dongmei Li, MS; Anna Johnson, PhD; Erin Fraher, PhD

Carolina HWRC Project: The Role of Physical and Occupational Therapists in the Acute to Post-Acute Care Transition (2014-15)


Conclusions and Policy Implications

1) Physical and occupational therapists play a key role in the recovery of stroke survivors.

2) We found evidence of underuse of therapists following stroke, particularly after discharge home.

3) Patients seen at hospitals with higher RN staffing levels or who lived in counties with higher primary care provider supply were more likely to receive therapy in the inpatient and outpatient setting, to have continuity of care across settings, and to receive timely care.

4) We found evidence of socioeconomic and racial disparities in therapist use, particularly in regard to outpatient care and the receipt of timely care.

5) Strengthening continuity and consistency of therapist care across the acute and community settings may be useful in preventing downstream healthcare costs.

6) Payment policy that minimizes out-of-pocket costs for therapy may improve access.


Download PDF