Cognitive-Communication disorder following right hemisphere stroke: Exploring rehabilitation access and outcomes

R. Hewetson, P. Cornwell, Ho Keung David Shum

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background: Rehabilitation positively influences return to activities and social roles in people with aphasia. The cognitive-communication disorder (CCD) found following a right hemisphere stroke has been less extensively researched with rehabilitation access and outcomes yet to be determined. Objectives: To document rehabilitation access and outcomes for people with CCD post-stroke; and compare outcomes based on presence (viz CCD; aphasia) or absence of communication impairment. Methods: A retrospective chart audit was completed for patients with first onset unilateral stroke, with a hospital length of stay (LOS) of at least two days and a communication assessment by a speech pathologist. Data extracted included presence and severity of communication impairment, access to and LOS in a rehabilitation unit, and functional outcome measures recorded at rehabilitation discharge. Results: The majority of the 115 patients who met inclusion criteria were living independently (n = 112, 97.4%) at the time of stroke. CCD (66%) was diagnosed with similar frequency to aphasia (68%). The presence of communication impairment did not result in significant differences in rehabilitation LOS and discharge destination when compared to hemispheric strokes without communication impairment. Severity of CCD was an independent predictor of functional gain by rehabilitation discharge. Conclusions: People with CCD require comparable access to rehabilitation as people with aphasia, and severity of CCD should be considered in determining rehabilitation LOS. A large number of people are discharged with ongoing CCD which warrants exploration of potential participation restrictions created by the communication impairment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aphasia
  • Cognitive-communication disorder
  • Rehabilitation
  • Right hemisphere stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Community and Home Care
  • Clinical Neurology


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