Psychological factors and subjective cognitive complaints after stroke: Beyond depression and anxiety

M.W.A. van Rijsbergen, R.E. Mark*, W.J. Kop, P.L.M. Kort, M.M. Sitskoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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Subjective Cognitive Complaints (SCC) are common after stroke and adversely affect quality of life. In the present study, we determined the associations of depression, anxiety, perceived stress and fatigue with post-stroke SCC, and whether these associations were independent of objective cognitive functioning, stroke characteristics and individual differences in personality traits and coping styles. Using a cross-sectional design, SCC and psychological measures were obtained in 208 patients (mean 3.3 ± 0.5 months after stroke; 65.9% men; mean age 64.9 ± 12.4 years). SCC were assessed using the Checklist for Cognitive and Emotional consequences following stroke (CLCE) inventory. Validated questionnaires were used to measure depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale), fatigue (Fatigue Assessment Scale), personality traits (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised Short Scale) and coping style (Utrecht Coping List). Multivariate hierarchical linear regression analyses were used to adjust for covariates. Depression (β = 0.35), anxiety (β = 0.38), perceived stress (β = 0.39), and fatigue (β = 0.39) were associated with CLCE scores, independent of demographic, cognitive performance and stroke-related covariates. After including personality traits and coping styles in the model, independent associations with CLCE scores were found for fatigue (β = 0.26, p = .003) and neuroticism (β = 0.21, p = .05). Interventions aimed at improving psychological resilience and increasing energy levels might be a worthwhile addition to stroke rehabilitation programmes by reducing SCC and improving quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1671-1684
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Stroke, Subjective cognitive complaints, Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue, Neuroticism
  • Neuroticism
  • Stroke
  • Subjective cognitive complaints
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety


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