Predictors of functional outcome were developed in a group of 114 stroke patients consecutively admitted to a tertiary rehabilitation center. These predictors included a pool of medical data, the age of the patient, psychological tests and the patient's educational level. None of these predictor items showed a correlation with outcome high enough to allow precise prediction of individual outcome. They did, however, provide general indicators for those patients with severe functional impairment who are more likely to gain from a rehabilitation program. The group of medical predictors indicated that a patient with a more extensive, severe lesion, with signs of congestive heart failure, generalized arteriosclerosis, gross perceptual deficit, a lower level of education, and who is older, is less likely to improve in the rehabilitation program. Since a prediction on an individual basis was not possible, it was concluded that even the most severely involved patient should be provided with a therapeutic rehabilitation trial. There was no correlation between severity of the functional impairment at admission and the gains obtained in the rehabilitation program. The same predictors were used to predict whether the patient went home or to an institution. It was found that family income and involvement in support of the patient predicted this outcome, whereas medical data did not. Since family involvement can sometimes be changed by a therapeutic team, this predictor may also present a major target for therapeutic intervention.