Interventions for improving psychosocial well-being after stroke: a systematic review

Authors Dagmar van Nimwegen, Ellen Gabrielsen Hjelle, Line Kildal Bragstad, Marit Kirkevold, Unni Sveen, Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir, Lisette Schoonhoven, Johanna Visser-Meily, Janneke M. de Man-van Ginkel
Published in International Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication date 2023
Research groups Proactive care for older people living at home
Type Article


Background: Up to one third of all stroke patients suffer fromone or more psychosocial impairments. Recognition and treatment of these impairments are essential in improving psychosocial well-being after stroke. Although nurses are ideally positioned to address psychosocial well-being, they often feel insecure about providing the needed psychosocial care. Therefore, we expect that providing nurses with better knowledge to deliver this care could lead to an improvement in psychosocialwell-being after stroke. Currently it is not knownwhich interventions are effective and what aspects of these interventions are most effective to improve psychosocial wellbeing after stroke. Objective: To identify potentially effective interventions – and intervention components – which can be delivered by nurses to improve patients' psychosocial well-being after stroke. Methods: A systematic review and data synthesis of randomized controlled trials and quasi experimental studies was conducted. Papers were included according to the following criteria: 1) before-after design, 2) all types of stroke patients, 3) interventions that can be delivered by nurses, 4) the primary outcome(s) were psychosocial. PubMed, Embase, PsychInfo, CINAHL and Cochrane library were searched (August 2019–April 2022). Articles were selected based on title, abstract, full text and quality. Quality was assessed by using Joanna Briggs Institute checklists and a standardized data extraction form developed by Joanna Brigss Institute was used to extract the data. Results: In total 60 studies were included, of which 52 randomized controlled trials, three non-randomized controlled trials, four quasi-experimental studies, and one randomized cross-over study. Nineteen studies had a clear psychosocial content, twenty-nine a partly psychosocial content, and twelve no psychosocial content. Thirty-nine interventions that showed positive effects on psychosocial well-being after stroke were identified. Effective intervention topics were found to be mood, recovery, coping, emotions, consequences/problems after stroke, values and needs, risk factors and secondary prevention, self-management, andmedicationmanagement. Active information and physical exercise were identified as effective methods of delivery. Discussion: The results suggest that interventions to improve psychosocial well-being should include the intervention topics and methods of delivery that were identified as effective. Since effectiveness of the intervention can depend on the interaction of intervention components, these interactions should be studied. Nurses and patients should be involved in the development of such interventions to ensure it can be used by nurses and will help improve patients' psychosocial well-being.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in International Journal of Nursing Studies
Key words intervention, nurses, psychosocial well-being, stroke, stroke care pathway

Dagmar van Nimwegen

Dagmar van Nimwegen | Researcher | Research group Chronic Diseases

Dagmar van Nimwegen

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Proactive care for older people living at home