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Occupational Therapy Improves Independence in Stroke Survivors

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Mortera said that the review failed to identify the team approach often used in stroke rehabilitation. "We co-treat with physical therapists, psychologists, speech therapists and nursing staff. Occupational therapists aren’t the only ones working on self-care issues, so when you’re talking about activities of daily living, it’s difficult to isolate out the exact benefits of occupational therapy."

With these caveats in mind, what should stroke patients and their family members take from the results of this review?

Yearly, about 700,000 people in the United States have a stroke. Recovery from stroke may be lengthy, and studies indicate that one-third of stroke survivors remain dependent on others for care.

Occupational therapy does work, say the study authors. Now "the debate should move from considering whether occupational services are effective to determining which elements make them effective," Legg said.

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