Listed in Issue 262


GOLDING and COLLEAGUES, 1. Clinical Neuropsychology Department, Great Ormond Street Hospital, UK  2. Clinical and Health Psychology Research Initiative, University of Western Sydney, Australia; 3. School of Psychology, University of Surrey, UK conducted a randomised, controlled pilot study to consider the feasibility of relaxation for potential treatment for anxiety in stroke survivors.


To consider relaxation as a potential treatment for anxiety in stroke survivors living in the community, including feasibility and acceptability.


Design: Randomized two group design (intervention and control); Participants: All participants (n = 21) were stroke survivors living in the community who reported experiencing anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale - Anxiety Subscale ⩾ 6); Interventions: The intervention group were asked to listen to a self-help autogenic relaxation CD, five times a week, for at least one month. Participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at screening and then monthly for three months.


At each assessment following screening, participants who received the relaxation training were significantly more likely to report reduced anxiety compared to those who had not received the training (Month 1 P = 0.002; Month 2 P < 0.001; Month 3 P = 0.001). After one month, seven of the intervention group (n = 10) had completed the relaxation training as directed and planned to continue using it. The intervention appeared practical to deliver and relatively inexpensive, with minimal adverse effects.


Preliminary evidence suggests that autogenic relaxation training delivered in a self-help CD format is a feasible and acceptable intervention, and that anxiety is reduced in stroke survivors who received the intervention. Future studies should seek to recruit a larger and more heterogeneous sample of 70 participants.


Golding K1, Kneebone I2, Fife-Schaw C3. Self-help relaxation for post-stroke anxiety: a randomised, controlled pilot study Clin Rehabil. 30(2):174-80. Feb 2016. doi: 10.1177/0269215515575746. Epub Mar 16 2015.

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