Testing a Positive Psychology-based Intervention for Couples Coping With Stroke "RESToreD"


Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

This study aims to pilot test an 8-week, self-administered dyadic (couples-based) positive psychology intervention for couples coping with stroke using a randomized, waitlist control design. Mood and well-being will be assessed pre- and post-intervention, and at 3-month follow-up. It is expected that both partners will demonstrate improvement in mood and well-being.

Detailed Description

Stroke survivors and spousal caregivers face significant challenges, yet interventions to support couples after stroke are largely lacking. Depressive symptoms post-stroke occur in 30-50% of survivors and partner caregivers, and have significant consequences on function and quality of life. Further, mood and psychosocial well-being are reciprocal in couples, meaning if one partner is depressed, the other is more likely to be depressed. Sustaining well-being in both partners is important for continued engagement in rehabilitation and re-integration into the community, yet existing interventions are aimed at the individual rather than the couple. This study will address this gap by testing an innovative dyadic (couples-based) intervention using a new approach based on positive psychology that focuses on the strengths in the relationship in order to foster resilience in the couple. Using a randomized waitlist control design, this pilot study aims to determine whether an 8-week dyadic positive psychology-based intervention (PPI) can improve mood and subjective well-being as assessed by established outcome measures in 24 couples coping with stroke. The intervention consists of self-administered PPI activities, such as expressing gratitude and practicing acts of kindness, which participants complete individually and as a couple. Two potential pathways will be explored for the PPI: (a) enhanced quality of interactions as couples deal with daily life demands and (b) improvements in mood that are "contagious" among couples. If found effective, couples with greater well-being may be better emotionally equipped to cope with the sequelae of stroke by reducing stress and depressive symptoms, and increasing participation in meaningful activities and quality of life.



  • Dyadic (couples-based) positive psychology intervention Behavioral
    Intervention Desc: Self-administered behavioral intervention in which participants complete at least 2 activities alone and 2 together each week for 8 weeks. Positive psychology activities include expressing gratitude, practicing acts of kindness, fostering relationships, working toward a goal, focusing on the positive, spirituality, and savoring.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Positive Psychology Intervention
    Description: Participants complete baseline assessments and receive a 20min training on the positive psychology activities. They are instructed to engage in at least 2 positive psychology activities alone and at least 2 as a couple each week for 8 weeks. Self-administered activities include expressing gratitude, practicing acts of kindness, focusing on the positive, fostering relationships, working toward a goal, spirituality, savoring. Post-intervention and 3-month follow-up assessments are completed.
    ARM 2: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Waitlist control
    Description: Participants complete a baseline assessment and are waitlisted for 4-6 weeks. They then complete another assessment, receive the 20min training on activities, and then complete the 8-week self-administered intervention (same as the experimental arm). Post-intervention and 3-month follow up assessments are also completed.


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary PROMIS Depression-SF Change from baseline to 8 weeks (post-intervention)
Primary NeuroQOL Positive Affect and Wellbeing-SF Change from baseline to 8 weeks (post-intervention)
Secondary Stroke Impact Scale Change from baseline to 8 weeks (post-intervention)
Secondary Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) Change from baseline to 8 weeks (post-intervention)