The attitudes and motivation of the nursing staff towards activation of stroke patients were studied. Staff members from two experimental wards received an educational programme on stroke. Concurrently the patients on their wards received an individually adapted nursing programme with emphasis on activation. The attitudes of the nursing staff on these wards and on two identical control wards in the same hospital were examined at 3-month intervals with the help of a 24-item questionnaire. There was a significant change in attitudes, judged on a scale constructed from 14 items, among the staff of the experimental wards during a 6-month period. There were also positive changes in individual items such as attitudes to long-term care. Fewer changes were noted among the untrained auxiliaries than among the trained staff. The high rate of turnover, especially among the untrained staff, led to certain difficulties in the collection and interpretation of data. In conclusion, the educational programme and also perhaps, the other activities of the experimental wards seemed to have affected the attitudes of the staff to some extent in a positive direction.