Stroke patients undergoing physical rehabilitation were monitored daily to determine the length of time needed to recover independent function. Of the 93 patients admitted, there were 45 who could not attain the sitting position independently, 75 who could not walk independently and 75 who could not negotiate the stairs independently. By discharge, 25 of 45 patients (55.6%) were able to attain sitting from supine independently, 35 of 75 patients (46.7%) achieved the ability to walk independently but only 25 of 75 patients (33.3%) learned to negotiate stairs independently. The time from admission to achievement of independent function and the time from onset of stroke to achievement of independent function was modeled in relation to explanatory variables: age, sex, side of lesion, comorbidity, the presence of depression and the extent of impairment in perception, cognition, auditory comprehension and verbal expression. Four variables were found to influence recovery time: age influenced the rate of recovery of walking and stair climbing; perceptual impairment influenced the rate of achieving independent sitting and stair climbing; and depression and comprehension influenced walking.