Clinical stroke trials have been increasing interest in patient-centred assessments such as functional status and health-related quality of life. There is a consensus that these measurement factors must be relevant to, and obtained from, the patients of interest. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the patients' reactions and concerns that individuals experience after having had a stroke. A focus group and individual interviews were conducted to identify and describe the patients' reactions to living with the results of a stroke. One hundred twelve patients participated in the study. Fifteen factors were identified as problems for the 112 participants. For the level of impact and importance, the highest percentages of responses rated by the participants in each factor were all towards the physical aspects of functioning such as hand/arm function and mobility. These findings provide important information on the impact of stroke that could be useful for occupational therapists in treatment planning and outcome measurement. Further research is recommended to understand the impact of a stroke on an individual's adjustment at home and in the community. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.