Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stroke Rehabilitation Needs Multiple Disciplines

The issue I want to focus on for this post is the problem of stroke rehabilitation. Rehab after a stroke requires multiple disciplines to integrate their skills to create a positive experience for someone coming out of a stroke. The disciplines I focused on are cardiology, speech pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychology. Critical pluralism is important with this issue because there are many disciplines that are giving their mere opinion on the situation, but neither of them are wrong, but neither of them are completely right. The perspectives coming from each discipline creates an interdisciplinary work of therapy to provide a whole therapy program for a patient after a stroke. After a stroke, a person needs more than just speech therapy or they need more than just occupational therapy. They need therapies from all areas of their health for a full recovery.

Perspectives on the problem
Speech Pathology
“Speech-Language Pathologists examine language not only in its organization of complex linguistic structures, but also in terms of the processes on which it is partially dependent.” (Mayer-Crittenden)
Speech Pathologist focus on the how the stroke affected the patient’s speech
They work on getting their speech back to where they were pre-stroke by implementing speech exercises
Physical Therapy
“A physical therapist seeks to identify and maximize quality of life and movement potential through prevention, intervention (treatment), promotion, habilitation, and rehabilitation.” (Nordqvist)
Physical Therapists focus on the physical problems after a stroke occurs
Physical Therapists provide light workouts and exercises to slowly help the patient get back to were they were pre-stroke
Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy takes a whole-person approach to both mental and physical health and wellbeing, enabling individuals to achieve their full potential.
Occupational therapy provides practical support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This helps to increase people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life. (BAOT/COT)
Occupational therapists focus on the impact of the stroke of the daily life tasks of the individual after the stroke
Occupational therapists help work on getting the individual back to doing daily tasks, such as getting out of bed or brushing their teeth after a stroke
A cardiologist is a doctor with special training and skill in finding, treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels. (CardioSmart)

Cardiologists focus on heart health after stroke
They will provide medications if needed and make appointments for future check ups
“Psychology sees human behavior as reflecting the cognitive constructs individuals develop to organize their mental activity. Psychologists also study inherent mental mechanisms, both genetic predisposition and individual differences.” (Repko, p. 151)
Psychologists focus on mental repercussions of the stroke
Psychologists will provide emotional support for patients after stroke


British Association of Occupational Therapists and College of Occupational Therapy. (2014) What is Occupational Therapy? Retrieved February 20, 2015, from

CardioSmart: American College of Cardiology. (2014). What is a Cardiologist? Retrieved February 20, 2015, from

Mayer-Crittenden, C. (2014). An interdisciplinary framework for speech-language pathologists: A closer look at bilingual language development and Its disorders. Retrieved February 20, 2015, from

Nordqvist, C. (2014, September 12). What is physical therapy (physiotherapy)? What does a physical therapist (physiotherapist) do? Retrieved February 20, 2015, from

Repko, A., & Szostak, R. (2014). Introduction to interdisciplinary studies (p. 151). SAGE Publisher.


  1. I think the chosen issue did work out well here, Catrina. The font is impossible to read in the first part because of the color. Can you fix that, and maybe also normalize the font in the chart, too? The chart is solid, but the post as a whole doesn't really succeed because of the formatting issues. Shoot me an email if you update and edit, so I make sure to see the new version, since I can't really read the first part here and I would like to take a better look once it is corrected!

  2. I tried to fix this so many times and I cannot seem to get it right. I fixed the majority of the text to make it white so people can read it, but the chart shows it all as white when I edit it, but once I go to view the blog, parts of it goes back to black. Oh technology! My Repko reference also got messed up and I cannot seem to fix that either.

  3. It's definitely better than it was!! I sent you a link via email that might help with that final white highlighting issue...

  4. I think this is a very good issue in the medical field that requires a lot of different disciplines! I did something kind of similar except with athlete rehabilitation! I think that it is critical that we just don't look at the physical aspect of the problem but also the psychological aspect of it as well. I also agree with you that you need all of these disciplines to work together to get the best possible care and the fastest/fullest recovery!