A search of the literature was carried out in order to identify controlled trials to study the effect of rehabilitation after a stroke. A limited number of studies have been published, and many are of poor quality. Making the organization of rehabilitation more efficient, emphasizing early start of rehabilitation, and close cooperation between the involved health professionals and an improvement of their competence have the best documented effect on mortality and on the percentage of patients who return home. There is also evidence that retraining of motor function and of language skills is effective. Rehabilitation seems to lead to more rapid recovery and a better result overtime. However, the achieved functional level may decline when the rehabilitational efforts are scaled down. The effect of rehabilitation on sensory and cognitive functioning is poorly documented.