The Restore4Stroke self-management intervention ‘Plan ahead!’: rationale and description of the treatment protocol based on proactive action planning

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To describe the rationale behind and description of a group-based self-management intervention developed for stroke patients and their partners.


Based on the assumption that proactive coping strategies are beneficial for the re-uptake of daily life by stroke patients and partners, we developed a new stroke-specific, group-based self-management intervention based on proactive action planning. A first concept of the treatment protocol was developed based on the proactive coping theory, the Health Action Process Approach model, existing interventions and expert consultations. Further adjustments were based on two pilot studies, including addition of solution-based therapeutic techniques.

Description of the intervention:

‘Plan ahead!’ is a 10-week group-based self-management intervention, consisting of six 2-hour sessions in the first six weeks and a 2-hour booster session in the 10th week. It is offered in an outpatient setting by two rehabilitation professionals with experience in group counselling and working with stroke patients. It is provided to groups of four stroke patients living at home (stroke ≥2 months ago) and their partners. The main features are (1) proactive action planning as the main constituent, (2) stroke-specific elements and (3) considering partners as full participants.


This stroke-specific intervention is expected to increase the use of proactive action planning and thus improve the participation of stroke patients and their partners. It is innovative in its aim to change behaviour patterns of participants directly, teaching participants a general action planning strategy and considering partners as full participants with their own goals and opportunities.

This series of articles for rehabilitation in practice aims to cover a knowledge element of the rehabilitation medicine curriculum. Nevertheless they are intended to be of interest to a multidisciplinary audience. The competency addressed in this article is teaching stroke patients and partners proactive action planning in order to enhance their self-management abilities.

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