Outcome Measures

Outcome measures are some of those tests you take at the beginning, middle, and end of therapy to see if you’re improving.  Some of these are things like how bad your pain is, how fast you can walk, how long you can balance, how much trouble you have with opening jars, etc.  Well, in my therapy there was this one test where I had to wet a washcloth, button a shirt, draw a straight line, pour water into a cup, and some other stuff.  By the time I was discharged from therapy I was pretty good at all that stuff.  That’s great.  I’m glad I’m 31 years old and can pour water into a cup.  Wonderful.  A therapist wants to get you “functional.”  Functional means you can do things like pour water into a cup, brush your teeth, walk independently, etc.  They want to make sure you can function.  When you can do these things and are considered independent and functional, you’re discharged from rehab.  Well I’m extremely functional, but that certainly isn’t my end goal.  My goal is to be back to normal, to doing absolutely everything I used to do.  Soooo, I’ll be doing a lot of this work on my own.  Improvement occurs very very slowly after a stroke and for years and years afterward.  If you want to return to an activity, do that activity.  A lot.  Don’t think that when therapy ends you’re done improving.  You’re kind of just getting started.

Categories: Rehab

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2 replies

  1. Yep. My docs said they wouldn’t let me home until the physios said I was ok to go up and down stairs and be safe at home. It was an epiphany when I realised that the physios only needed me to be as capable as the 90 year old women who’d had strokes… the physios discharged me almost straight away: they didn’t care I only had the capability of a 90 year old and I wanted to go home!

    • I’m sorry. :(. That’s the way it is. After a stroke the PT’s job is basically to make sure you don’t die at home and can get around. Months or years later when you can do a lot more stuff and should be in therapy insurance would never approve it.

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