Patient perceptions of the quality of information provided in a Hospital Stroke Rehabilitation Unit

Leigh Tooth*, Tammy Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored the extent, source and format of the information received by stroke rehabilitation patients and their perceptions of the quality of that information. Additionally, the readability levels of the written materials received were assessed. Fifteen patients were interviewed approximately 1.8 months post-inpatient rehabilitation. Occupational therapists were the principal sources of information about returning home, equipment/assistive devices, activities/exercise after stroke and the physical effects of stroke. The patients wanted additional information on the following topics that occupational therapists can address: treatments after stroke, the causes of stroke, risk factors/future prevention, stroke support groups, what to expect in rehabilitation and emotional problems/difficulties during recovery. Most information was verbal. Although 70% of the patients felt that they had not received enough information and 87% identified gaps in what they had received, the information was considered relevant to their needs, easy to read/understand and helpful in coping with lifestyle changes. Two-thirds had received written information, written at an average grade 12 equivalent; this was a level too high for educating lay people about health. The implications for occupational therapists are that general information may be being provided at the expense of the information of most importance to the patients. Occupational therapists should assess and address patients' informational needs and identify the patient's preferred formats for receiving the information. The assessment of readability is also useful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


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