Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie


Fatigue and depression after stroke


Type of assignment:                    MA thesis PPT (10EC)

Internal or external?:                    external: Medisch Spectrum Twente

Maximum number of students      Yes; 1 student

Individual collecting of data?        Participation in ongoing study

Type of research:                         quantitative

Description of the assignment:

Ischemic stroke is one of the most common causes of morbidity and case fatality in developing countries. Favourable functional outcome is influenced not only by factors related to acute stages of stroke, but also by factors emerging during recovery, including fatigue, which could be a constraint for rehabilitation. Fatigue affects between 36-77% of stroke survivors at different time intervals, from admission to 3 years follow-up. It is still a relatively unexplored condition and often neglected.

After the experience of a stroke symptoms of depression in combination with fatigue are very common. Depression and fatigue are often strongly interrelated and fatigue symptoms can overlap with depression. The course over time of both depression and fatigue after stroke and the temporal relations between depression and fatigue over time are still uncertain.

In an ongoing study about fatigue after stroke at the department of Neurology of the Medisch Spectrum Twente patients are followed during one year with assessments in the first week after stroke, and after 3, 6, and 12 months. At these time points clinical and radiological data are collected and patients complete questionnaires about fatigue, depression and other variables.

The aim of this study is to explore the severity and course of fatigue and depressive symptoms over the first year after stroke and the cross-sectional and temporal relations between fatigue and depression.

Lerdal A, Bakken LN, Kouwenhoven SE, et al. Poststroke fatigue--a review. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2009;38(6):928-949. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.04.028 [doi].

Schepers VP, Visser-Meily AM, Ketelaar M, Lindeman E. Poststroke fatigue: course and its relation to personal and stroke-related factors. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006;87(2):184-188. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2005.10.005.

Van de Port IGL, Kwakkel G, Schepers VPM, Heinemans CTI, Lindeman E. Is fatigue an independent factor associated with activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living and health-related quality of life in chronic stroke? Cerebrovasc Dis. 2007;23(1):40-45. doi:10.1159/000095757.

Who are we looking for?

A student with an interest in the psychosocial aspects of chronic somatic diseases, in network building in hospitals, collaboration with medical doctors/neurologists.


UT: Dr. Erik Taal & Dr. Christina Bode; MST: to be determined