Stroke Recovery During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Position Paper on Recommendations for Rehabilitation

Suzanne Perea Burns, Talya K. Fleming, Sam S. Webb, Alice Sau Han Kam, Jaimee D.P. Fielder, Grace J. Kim, Xiaolei Hu, Mary Thelander Hill, Emily A. Kringle

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Health care delivery shifted and adapted with the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Stroke care was negatively affected across the care continuum and may lead to poor community living outcomes in those who survived a stroke during the ongoing pandemic. For instance, delays in seeking care, changes in length of stays, and shifts in discharge patterns were observed during the pandemic. Those seeking care were younger and had more severe neurologic effects from stroke. Increased strain was placed on caregivers and public health efforts, and community-wide lockdowns, albeit necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, had detrimental effects on treatment and recommendations to support community living outcomes. The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Stroke Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group Health and Wellness Task Force convened to (1) discuss international experiences in stroke care and rehabilitation and (2) review recently published literature on stroke care and outcomes during the pandemic. Based on the findings in the literature, the task force proposes recommendations and interdisciplinary approaches at the (1) institutional and societal level; (2) health care delivery level; and (3) individual and interpersonal level spanning across the care continuum and into the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1874-1882
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine


  • COVID-19, Delivery of health care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Stroke rehabilitation


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