• learning readiness;
  • patient teaching;
  • Functional Independence Measure;
  • stroke rehabilitation

Motivation and ability are attributes of learning readiness for patient teaching. Achievement motivation theory includes the assumption that the tendency to succeed in regaining functional losses due to stroke is related to patients' perceptions of how difficult activities will be to accomplish. Ability is assessed using the Functional Independence Measure. A framework is applied to a patient situation demonstrating that the tendency to succeed is greater when striving to achieve goals with an uncertain level of difficulty than when goals are either easy or hard. Implications for nursing and research are described.