Cognition after stroke: various perspectives

Britta Nijsse

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared


Through better acute stroke care, more people survive a stroke (cerebral infarction or cerebral haemorrhage) and we increasingly see lightly affected stroke patients with few physical problems (the so-called 'walking and talking' patients), who, however, often experience cognitive problems. This dissertation shows that 3-4 years after the stroke, half of the patients still have cognitive disorders. In addition, 89% of the patients have 1 or more (subjective) cognitive complaints at that time. Personal factors (such as coping strategies and personality characteristics) turned out to be related to the experience of cognitive complaints, in contrast to demographic or stroke-related factors. Care professionals need to become more aware of these personal factors during the rehabilitation period in order to be able to provide better tailor-made care. This is important as cognitive complaints have a major impact on participation problems, which can cause people to get stuck in daily life. Disorders in social cognition also occur in the long term. Social cognition includes the ability of individuals to perceive social information, to interpret the behaviour of others and to respond adequately in social situations. For example, there were disorders in the field of emotion recognition and behavioural regulation. Moreover, these disorders turned out to be related to behavioural change, something that occurs frequently after a stroke. Recognition of disorders in social cognition is important, as psycho-education to patients and their relatives can lead to better understanding and acceptance. Future research should focus on the treatment of disorders in social cognition after a stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • van Heugten, Caroline, Supervisor
  • Visser-Meily, Johanna M A, Supervisor, External person
  • Spikman, Jacoba M., Supervisor, External person
  • de Kort, Paul L.M., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date2 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • stroke
  • cognitive complaints
  • cognition
  • social cognition

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