The influence of psychological factors and mood on the course of participation up to four years after stroke

J A de Graaf*, V P M Schepers, B Nijsse, C M van Heugten, Marcel W. M. Post, J M A Visser-Meily

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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PURPOSE: (1) To explore the course of participation from two months up to four years after stroke, and (2) to examine if adaptive and maladaptive psychological factors and mood measured at two months after stroke are determinants of the course of participation during this period.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Prospective cohort study in which 369 individuals with stroke were assessed at stroke onset, two months, six months, one year, two years and three to four years after stroke. The Utrecht Scale for Evaluation of Rehabilitation-Participation (USER-Participation) restrictions subscale was used to measure participation. Psychological factors were clustered into adaptive (proactive coping, self-efficacy, extraversion and optimism) and maladaptive (passive coping, neuroticism and pessimism) psychological factors. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess mood.

RESULTS: Although improvements in participation were observed up to one year after stroke, considerable long-term restrictions in social and physical domains persisted. More mood problems and less adaptive psychological factors were independent determinants of worse participation up to four years after stroke.

CONCLUSIONS: Participation improves in the first 12 months after stroke and stabilizes afterwards. Mood problems and less adaptive psychological factors negatively influence the course of participation over time up to four years after stroke. Implications for rehabilitation Follow-up assessments after stroke should not only focus on cognitive and motor impairment, but also encompass screening on mood problems and adaptive psychological factors. Implementation of a routine follow-up assessment one year after stroke can be beneficial as restrictions in participation are unlikely to diminish spontaneously from then onwards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1855-1862
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Early online date31 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022


  • Stroke
  • community participation
  • long-term effects
  • mood
  • psychological factors
  • social participation

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