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The relationship between patients’ illness beliefs and recovery after stroke

Aujla, N.; Walker, M.; Vedhara, K.; Sprigg, N.


N. Aujla

M. Walker

Professor in Applied Psychology

Professor of Stroke Medicine


The Common Sense Model (CSM) is a useful framework for understanding mood and treatment adherence amongst survivors in the acute phase of stroke. CSM stroke studies have thus far focused on the single outcomes, mood and medication adherence, neglecting other aspects of post-stroke recovery (i.e., Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) and disability). The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between baseline illness beliefs and three-month post-stroke HRQL, mood and disability. A longitudinal observational design was adopted, involving 50 survivors (mean age = 66.9 years, 68% male). The primary outcome, HRQL, was measured using EQ-5D-5L. The secondary outcome, mood was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9; and disability, using the Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living Scale. The Stroke Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised measured illness beliefs. Spearman’s correlations showed that beliefs about the fluctuating effects of stroke (ρ = 0.50, p less than 0.001) and considerable distress at baseline were significantly associated with worse mood three-months post-stroke (ρ = 0.41, p less than 0.001). Baseline illness beliefs were not significantly related to three-month post-stroke HRQL or disability. Despite being limited by a modest sample size, the findings reiterated the need for routine clinical assessment of mood immediately after stroke, and indicated that simultaneous measurement of illness beliefs may also be beneficial.


Aujla, N., Walker, M., Vedhara, K., & Sprigg, N. (2019). The relationship between patients’ illness beliefs and recovery after stroke. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 24(5), 551-558.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 3, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 11, 2018
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Dec 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 11, 2018
Journal Psychology, Helth and Medicine
Print ISSN 1354-8506
Electronic ISSN 1465-3966
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 5
Pages 551-558
Keywords Common sense model; Illness beliefs; Stroke; Mood; Depression; Recovery; Disability; Health-related quality of life
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology, Health and Medicine on 11 December 2018, available online: