No effect of a psychosocial intervention on well-being after stroke

Ellen Gabrielsen Hjelle has done a randomized multicentre study to find out if sessions aimed to improve psychosocial well-being are effective in stroke survivors.


  1. Individual dialogue sessions have no effect on mood or quality of life among stroke survivors.
  2. Caution should be taken when assessing stroke patients with the General Health Questionnaire-28.


Thesis: Evaluating the effect of a complex intervention aiming to promote psychosocial well-being after stroke – A multicentre randomised controlled trial
Candidate: Ellen Gabrielsen Hjelle
Time: June 3, 2020 at 12:15
Place: Online-based solution, due to the covid-19 situation
Link to university website


(1) Eight individual dialogue-based sessions aiming to support coping and life skills did not improve psychosocial well-being six months after stroke. 322 stroke patients from 11 acute stroke or rehabilitation units were included and randomized to the intervention or control group. Mood, stroke-related quality of life, anxiety and depression symptoms improved similarly in both groups. A higher level of sense of coherence was associated with better psychosocial well-being after stroke.

(2) The four-factor structure of the Norwegian version of the General Health Questionnaire-28 (somatic symptoms/anxiety and insomnia/social dysfunction/severe depression) is suitable for assessment of stroke patients. However, some of the items of the questionnaire load on different factors than in the original version. Therefore, subfactor score in stroke patients should be interpreted with caution. 


(1) Hjelle, E. G., Bragstad, L. K., Zucknick, M., Kirkevold, M., Thommessen, B., & Sveen, U. (2019). The General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) as an outcome measurement in a randomized controlled trial in a Norwegian stroke populationBMC psychology7(1), 18.

(2) Hjelle, E. G., Bragstad, L. K., Kirkevold, M., Zucknick, M., Bronken, B. A., Martinsen, R., Kvigne, K. J., Kitzmüller, G., Mangset, M., Thommessen, B., & Sveen, U. (2019). Effect of a dialogue-based intervention on psychosocial well-being 6 months after stroke in Norway: A randomized controlled trialJournal of rehabilitation medicine51(8), 557-565.

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