Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehabilitation for Patients After a Stroke

A stroke is a dramatic event for the victim that can have severe and long-lasting effects if not dealt with correctly.

Workplace in the healthcare field doctors office image 4994994

When it comes to options for stroke rehabilitation, there are two types of options; inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation.

Both of these rehab options are effective and can make a drastic improvement on a stroke victim’s lives, however, inpatient rehabilitation is more likely to show better results for the patient.

Why Stroke Rehabilitation Is Crucial

Believe it or not, strokes are the #5 cause of death in the USA – in other countries around the world, it is even higher.

It is clear that strokes are not to be taken lightly… not only is it a leading cause of death, but strokes are also a “major cause of serious disability for adults”.

What many people don’t realize is that strokes are almost always avoidable – in fact, according to, over 80% of strokes are preventable!

Even more important, strokes are treatable.

Rehabilitation after strokes are essential to help mitigate the serious repercussions of not getting treated immediately – this is why stroke rehabilitation is a matter that should not be taken lightly since there are multiple types of rehab for victims.

In this article, we will explain why inpatient rehabilitation is typically more effective for stroke patients.

Before we get into stroke rehab and why it is so important, let’s take a look at what a stroke actually is and the effects it can have on the victim.

What Is A Stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked due to a blood clot.

When this happens, brain tissue gets damaged – in some cases, the brain tissue actually dies.

A blood vessel in the brain that bursts can also cause a stroke.

Let’s take a look at the three types of strokes:

Types Of Strokes

The three types of strokes are as follows:

Ischemic Stroke

This is the name for strokes that are caused by a blood clot (or other types of particles) that block blood vessels and restricts the flow of blood to the brain.

These blockages can also be caused by ‘plaque’, fatty deposits that can build up in blood vessels.

Hemorrhage Stroke

This is the name for strokes that are caused by a burst blood vessel.

When this happens, blood builds up and does damage to the brain tissue that surrounds the burst blood vessel.

There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes:

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage (this is a stroke caused by an artery rupture – blood gets released into the brain which causes damage)

  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (this stroke is also caused by an artery rupture, yet due to where the rupture takes place, blood fills up space that surrounds the brain as opposed to inside the brain)

All types of strokes are serious and should be dealt with immediately to avoid long-term damage.

Effects of a Stroke

When a stroke first occurs, it can cause the following symptoms:

  • Loss of sensation

  • Weakness

  • Trouble speaking, seeing, or walking

  • Trouble seeing

  • Confusions

  • Numbness

  • Headache

The first symptoms depend entirely on where the stroke occurs – different parts of the brain have different functions.

Long term effects can also be serious, such as:

  • Difficulties with speech and language

  • Memory issues

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Poor visual-perceptual skills

  • Emotional problems

  • Changes in personality

Rehabilitation after strokes is intended to help patients relearn the skills that were lost when the stroke occurred. For more information visit this website.

Stroke rehabilitation can greatly improve the quality of life for stroke victims and allow them to restore the independent life they once had.

It’s been proven that stroke victims who undergo rehabilitation recover better than patients who do not.

Now that you understand the severity of strokes and why rehabilitation is important, let’s look at the options for stroke rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation After Stroke: Inpatient Rehabilitation vs. Outpatient Rehabilitation

The two types of stroke rehabilitation options are inpatient and outpatient.

What Is Inpatient Rehabilitation?

Inpatient rehabilitation means that the patient ‘checks in’ and stays at a rehab facility until the completion of treatment (which can be days, months, or longer).

Inpatient facilities are either independently located or a smaller part of a hospital complex.


  • More extensive supervision (24/7) and around-the-clock access to medical help or therapy.

  • Typically, access to a large range of therapists that specialize in different aspects of stroke rehabilitation.

  • Structured days built to have the best possible impact on patients.


  • The patient is not able to stay at home.

  • Can be more expensive than outpatient rehabilitation.

What Is Outpatient Rehabilitation?

Outpatient rehabilitation means receiving recovery through multiple visits to private practice or clinic.

With this type of stroke rehabilitation, patients are generally expected to keep up with therapy activities at home on their own time.

Since outpatient rehabilitation does not involve 24/7 supervision or access to help, patients must be disciplined in order to continue therapy by themselves.


  • Patients get to stay at home, in their own environment.

  • May be less expensive than inpatient rehabilitation.


  • Reduced access to therapy professionals & 24/7 supervision.

  • More responsibility to continue therapy at home.

  • Multiple visits are less convenient than inpatient rehab (more travel).

Why Inpatient Rehabilitation Has Better Results

When it comes to a medical event as serious as a stroke, patients require close monitoring, constant access to help, and structured therapy. Inpatient rehabilitation receives better (and faster) results for patients due to the extended and more comprehensive nature of the therapy that is necessary when recovering from an event as severe as a stroke.

Interesting Related Article: “5 Variables That Impact Your Health Insurance Quote