Sensory Dysfunction Following Stroke: Incidence, Significance, Examination, and Intervention


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Abstract

Recent studies have provided evidence of the widespread incidence of sensory dysfunction following stroke. The importance of these findings lies in the association between sensory loss poststroke and poorer outcomes in motor capacity, functional abilities, length of inpatient stay, and quality of life. Since literature suggests that clinicians can use information about clients' sensory status to predict rehabilitation outcomes and select appropriate interventions, the accuracy of somatosensory assessment is extremely clinically relevant. However, many of the clinical tests that are commonly used to examine sensation have not been found to be valid or reliable. Emerging evidence supports the efficacy of several interventions that target the sensory systems. This article reviews the incidence, significance, examination, and interventions for sensory dysfunction following stroke and summarizes the important characteristics of interventions directed at somatosensation.

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