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Stroke unities: the role of the occupational therapist and the perception of the multidisciplinary team

MOJ Gerontology & Geriatrics
António Arsénio Duarte,1 Ana Paula Martins,1 Diana Santos,2 Rafael Santos,2 Rita Viegas2


Every second a person in the world suffers from a stroke, not surprising, therefore, that stroke is the leading cause of death and morbidity in Portugal. Increasingly, acute stroke is considered a medical emergency. The evidence proves that the treatment of these patients in specialized units (stroke units) is effective in acute stroke. A stroke unit is a hospital area where professionals with specific, well-defined training work, who provide care to stroke patients who are already stabilized, but are still in an acute phase(DGS, 2001). The aim of this study is to understand the role of the occupational therapist in stroke units and to identify the perspective of the multidisciplinary team on their work, clarifying what are the advantages of this professional in the team. The study falls within the qualitative paradigm, exploratory and descriptive. Semi-structured interviews were performed to 39 health professionals. The technique used was the content analysis of interviews. Based on previously established categories, other categories emerged. 


occupational therapy, stroke unities, health professionals, rehabilitation