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Art participation for psychosocial wellbeing during stroke rehabilitation: a feasibility randomised controlled trial

Morris, Jacqui H.; Kelly, Chris; Joice, Sara; Kroll, Thilo; Mead, Gillian; Donnan, Peter; Toma, Madalina; Williams, Brian


Jacqui H. Morris

Chris Kelly

Sara Joice

Thilo Kroll

Gillian Mead

Peter Donnan

Madalina Toma

Brian Williams


Purpose: To examine the feasibility of undertaking a pragmatic single-blind randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a visual arts participation programme to evaluate effects on survivor wellbeing within stroke rehabilitation.
Methods: Stroke survivors receiving in-patient rehabilitation were randomised to receive eight art participation sessions (n = 41) or usual care (n = 40). Recruitment, retention, preference for art participation and change in selected outcomes were evaluated at end of intervention outcome assessment and three-month follow-up.
Results: Of 315 potentially eligible participants 81 (29%) were recruited. 88% (n = 71) completed outcome and 77% (n = 62) follow-up assessments. Of eight intervention group non-completers, six had no preference for art participation. Outcome completion varied between 97% and 77%. Running groups was difficult because of randomisation timing. Effectiveness cannot be determined from this feasibility study but effects sizes suggested art participation may benefit emotional wellbeing, measured on the positive and negative affect schedule, and self-efficacy for Art (d = 0.24–0.42).
Conclusions: Undertaking a RCT of art participation within stroke rehabilitation was feasible. Art participation may enhance self-efficacy and positively influence emotional wellbeing. These should be outcomes in a future definitive trial. A cluster RCT would ensure art groups could be reliably convened. Fewer measures, and better retention strategies are required.
Implications for Rehabilitation
This feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT) showed that recruiting and retaining stroke survivors in an RCT of a visual arts participation intervention within stroke rehabilitation was feasible.
Preference to participate in art activities may influence recruitment and drop-out rates, and should be addressed and evaluated fully.
Art participation as part of rehabilitation may improve some aspects of post-stroke wellbeing, including positive affect and self-efficacy for art.
A future definitive cluster RCT would facilitate full evaluation of the value art participation can add to rehabilitation.


Morris, J. H., Kelly, C., Joice, S., Kroll, T., Mead, G., Donnan, P., …Williams, B. (2019). Art participation for psychosocial wellbeing during stroke rehabilitation: a feasibility randomised controlled trial. Disability and Rehabilitation, 41(1), 9-18.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 18, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 30, 2017
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 31, 2018
Journal Disability and Rehabilitation
Print ISSN 0963-8288
Electronic ISSN 1464-5165
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 41
Issue 1
Pages 9-18
Keywords Stroke rehabilitation, art, emotions, affect, wellbeing
Public URL
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