Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Rehabil. 2010 Feb;24(2):181-90. doi: 10.1177/0269215509346090.

Psychological distress after stroke and aphasia: the first six months.

Author information

  • 1Department of Language and Communication Science, School of Community and Health Sciences, City University London, London, UK.



We explored the factors that predicted psychological distress in the first six months post stroke in a sample including people with aphasia.


Prospective longitudinal observational study.


Participants with a first stroke from two acute stroke units were assessed while still in hospital (baseline) and at three and six months post stroke.


Distress was assessed with the General Health Questionnaire-12. Other measures included: NIH Stroke Scale, Barthel Index, Frenchay Aphasia Screening Test, Frenchay Activities Index, MOS Social Support Scale and social network indicators. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of distress at each stage post stroke; and to determine what baseline factors predicted distress at six months.


Eighty-seven participants were able to self-report on measures used, of whom 32 (37%) had aphasia. 71 (82%) were seen at six months, including 11 (16%) with aphasia. Predictors of distress were: stroke severity at baseline; low social support at three months; and loneliness and low satisfaction with social network at six months. The baseline factors that predicted distress at six months were psychological distress, loneliness and low satisfaction with social network (Nagelkerke R(2) = 0.49). Aphasia was not a predictor of distress at any time point. Yet, at three months post stroke 93% of those with aphasia experienced high distress, as opposed to 50% of those without aphasia (chi(2) (1) = 8.61, P<0.01).


Factors contributing to distress after stroke vary across time. Loneliness and low satisfaction with one's social network are particularly important and contribute to long-term psychological distress.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk