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The Domains of Stroke Recovery: A Synopsis of the Literature

Vanhook, Patricia

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: February 2009 - Volume 41 - Issue 1 - p 6-17
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e31819345e4

ABSTRACT Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States. The neurological insult following a stroke may leave the survivor with a chronic illness encompassing a lifetime of recovery. Recovery for the stroke survivor entails more than the return of function. A synopsis of the literature indicates that there are three domains of stroke recovery: physical, psychological, and social. There are six categories that comprise the three domains: cognition, function, health perception, self-concept, relationships, and role change. Stroke is a multifaceted and complex disease. Individual aspects of stroke recovery do not occur in isolation and cannot be separated from one another. In the future, studies involving the integration of the domains of stroke recovery are needed to understand the interactive processes that support recovery.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Patricia Vanhook, APRN PhD CNRN FNP, at She is an associate professor at the College of Nursing, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

© 2009 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses