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In a mutidisciplinary study comprising 280 patients with acute cerebrovascular disease, the functional capacity was followed from the acute stage onwards with a test battery mainly measuring activities of daily living and motor capacity Systematized care procedures with written care plans in accordance with the nursing process model, together with a booklet of guidelines in stroke care, were introduced during an experimental period in the care of 173 of the stroke victims The remaining 107 patients received conventional care The functional improvements were equal from a statistical standpoint in these two groups However, in the group, which received special activities, there was a significant decrease in bed days, and a slightly larger number were able to return to their own homes Compared with another stroke population from the same hospital, measured with the same functional instrument 7 years ago, the patients in this study seemed better off from a functional standpoint For the individual severely-disabled patient, the care planning procedures seemed to be valuable and an effective way of promoting communication between different units The difficulties in introducing new routines for documentation are discussed