One step back to move one step beyond; stepping stones for psychosocial care after stroke


In the Netherlands, 125 people suffer a stroke every day, which annually results in 46.000 new stroke patients Stroke patients are confronted with combinations of physical, psychological and social consequences impacting their long term functioning and quality of live. Fortunately many patients recover to their pre-stroke level of functioning, however, almost half of them never will. Consequently, rehabilitation often means that patients need to adapt to a new reality in their lives, requiring not only physical but also psychosocial adjustments.
Nurses play a key role during rehabilitation of stroke patients. However, when confronted with psychosocial problems, they often feel insecure about identifying the specific psycho-social needs of the individual patient and providing adequate care. In our project ‘Early Detection of Post-Stroke Depression’, (SIA RAAK; 2010-12-36P), we developed a toolkit focusing on early identification of depression after stroke continued with interventions nurses can use during hospitalisation. During this project it became clear that evidence regarding possible interventions is scarce and inclusive. Moreover feasibility of interventions is often not confirmed. Our project showed that during the period of hospital admission patients and health care providers strongly focus on surviving the stroke and on the physical rehabilitation.
Therefore, we concluded that to make one step beyond we first have to go one step back. To strengthen psychosocial care for patients after stroke we have to add, reconsider and shape knowledge in context of health care practices in a systematic way, resulting in evidence based and practice informed stepping stones. With this project we aim to collect these stepping stones and develop a nursing care programme that improves psychosocial well-being of patients after stroke, is tailored to the particular concerns and needs of patients, and is considered feasible for use in the usual care process of nurses in the stroke rehabilitation pathway.


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. M.J. Schuurmans

Affiliated with

Hogeschool Utrecht, College van Bestuur


01/06/2018 to 31/05/2020