A pilot randomized controlled trial of self-help relaxation to reduce post-stroke depression

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Clinical Rehabilitation, 2018, 32 (6), pp. 747 - 751
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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. Objective: To consider the potential of self-help relaxation training to treat depression after stroke. Design: Randomized controlled trial with cross-over at three months. Setting: Community. Participants: In total, 21 people with stroke, aged 49–82 years. Intervention: Autogenic relaxation CD. Main measure: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale–Depression (HADS-D) subscale. Results: No difference in depression change scores was identified between the treatment and control groups; however, on two follow-ups, significant positive differences relative to screening were found for the treatment group (at 2 months Z = −2.55, P =.011 and 12 months Z = −2.44, P =.015). A partial η2 =.07 was identified. Conclusion: Self-help relaxation holds promise as a self-help treatment for depression after stroke. Findings from this trial, considered with others of relaxation for depression, suggest that a study including a total of 80 participants would likely be sufficient to establish efficacy of the treatment, relative to controls, in those with stroke.
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