The 12-Month Effects of Early Motivational Interviewing After Acute Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Background and Purpose—The purpose of this study was to determine whether motivational interviewing (MI), a patient-centered counseling technique, can benefit patients' mood and mortality poststroke.Methods—This was a single-center, open, randomized, controlled trial. The setting was a hospital with a stroke unit. Four hundred eleven consecutive patients on the stroke register were >18 years old, not known to be moving out-of-area postdischarge, not receiving psychiatric or clinical psychology intervention, and were without severe cognitive or communication problems preventing participation in interviews. All patients received usual stroke care. Patients in the intervention group also received 4 individual, weekly sessions of MI. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with normal mood measured by the 28-item General Health Questionnaire (normal <5; low ≥5) using a mailed questionnaire at 12 months poststroke.Results—At 12-month follow-up (including imputed data), 37.7% patients in the control group and 48.0% patients in the intervention group had normal mood. Twenty-five (12.8%) of 195 patients in the control group and 13 (6.5%) of 199 patients in the intervention group had died. A significant benefit of motivational interviewing over usual stroke care was found for mood (P=0.020; OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.08 to 2.55) and mortality (P=0.035; OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.06 to 4.38).Conclusions—Results suggest that motivational interviewing improves patients' mood and reduces mortality 12 months poststroke.Clinical Trial Registration—URL: Unique identifier: ISRCTN54465472.

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