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Undetected and underserved: the untold story of patients who had a minor stroke

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Equity of access is particularly concerning for minor stroke

Medical advances, such as stroke units, improved primary and secondary stroke prevention, and hyperacute treatments have revolutionised acute stroke management.1 The lessening of stroke severity as a result of such ground-breaking initiatives has, however, led to a larger proportion of individuals returning to community living following minor strokes2 (ie, with minimal motor deficits or no obvious sensory abnormality). In this article, we review current literature to identify the potential difficulties experienced following a minor stroke.

Individuals who survive a more severe stroke often undergo extensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation in an inpatient setting. By contrast, patients who have a minor stroke are likely to be discharged home early, often with limited referrals to services beyond their general practitioner.3 This is despite increasing evidence that survivors of minor stroke may have persisting stroke-related impairments that require rehabilitation.4 These “hidden” impairments may not become apparent until after discharge, when the patient attempts to resume their usual daily activities.2,4 Edwards and colleagues