Faculty Advisor(s)

Amy J. Litterini

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Erika Derks


Background and Purpose: Stroke is the leading cause of long term disability in the United States. Despite the prevalence of stroke, there is minimal research on physical therapy interventions for patients with cerebellar stroke. The purpose of this case report is to describe a multidimensional intervention program for a patient following a cerebellar stroke, emphasizing a task-oriented approach and motor learning principles. Case Description: The patient was a 78-year-old female who had a right posterior inferior cerebellar artery stroke. She received daily physical therapy for four and a half weeks in the acute rehabilitation setting. The examination revealed deficits in coordination, balance, motor function, and mobility. Procedural interventions included functional training with an emphasis on the task-oriented approach. The patient’s progress was documented through the Berg Balance Scale, Functional Independence Measure, and required level of assistance. Outcomes: The patient showed improvements in all categories by the end of the treatment period. From admission to discharge, the patient improved her Functional Independence Measure score by 28 points (MCID = 22 points), and her Berg Balance Scale score by eight points (MDC=6 points). However, due to residual deficits of a subsequent stroke, the interdisciplinary team recommended discharge to a skilled nursing facility for continued rehabilitation. Discussion: Physical therapists within the acute rehabilitation setting commonly utilize the task-oriented approach for patients with cerebral stroke. A similar intervention approach for this patient with cerebellar stroke appears to have been beneficial. The patient had improved functional mobility at the time of discharge, despite having a second stroke. Continued research on determining the effectiveness of this approach is warranted.


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