The number of patients with communication related impairments in acute hospital stroke units Academic Article uri icon


  • Effective communication between patients who have had a stroke and their healthcare providers is vital. However, this may be difficult if patients have communication related impairments as a result of the stroke and/or have age related impairments that impact on their ability to communicate. This study sought to identify how many patients admitted into two acute hospital stroke units had a hearing, vision, speech, language and/or cognitive communicative impairment regardless of the cause. A total of 69 patients participated in this study. The majority (88%) of patients had one or more mild or more severe communication related impairments, 69% of patients had two or more communication related impairments and 39% of patients had three or more communication related impairments. The most common type of impairment was hearing impairment, followed by near vision impairment. That a high number of patients in acute hospital stroke units have communication related impairments suggests that many patients in acute stroke units may experience difficulty communicating their healthcare needs with healthcare providers and that alternative ways to support patients with communication related impairments in acute stroke units need to be available.

publication date

  • December 2009