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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Interventions for treating anxiety after stroke

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (90th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
1 blog
1 policy source
117 tweeters


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Readers on

346 Mendeley
Interventions for treating anxiety after stroke
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, May 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd008860.pub3
Pubmed ID

Peter Knapp, C. Alexia Campbell Burton, John Holmes, Jenni Murray, David Gillespie, C. Elizabeth Lightbody, Caroline L Watkins, Ho-Yan Y Chun, Sharon R Lewis


Approximately 20% of stroke patients experience clinically significant levels of anxiety at some point after stroke. Physicians can treat these patients with antidepressants or other anxiety-reducing drugs, or both, or they can provide psychological therapy. This review looks at available evidence for these interventions. This is an update of the review first published in October 2011. The primary objective was to assess the effectiveness of pharmaceutical, psychological, complementary, or alternative therapeutic interventions in treating stroke patients with anxiety disorders or symptoms. The secondary objective was to identify whether any of these interventions for anxiety had an effect on quality of life, disability, depression, social participation, caregiver burden, or risk of death. We searched the trials register of the Cochrane Stroke Group (January 2017). We also searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; the Cochrane Library; 2017, Issue 1: searched January 2017); MEDLINE (1966 to January 2017) in Ovid; Embase (1980 to January 2017) in Ovid; the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL; 1937 to January 2017) in EBSCO; and PsycINFO (1800 to January 2017) in Ovid. We conducted backward citation searches of reviews identified through database searches and forward citation searches of included studies. We contacted researchers known to be involved in related trials, and we searched clinical trials registers for ongoing studies. We included randomised trials including participants with a diagnosis of both stroke and anxiety for which treatment was intended to reduce anxiety. Two review authors independently screened and selected titles and abstracts for inclusion. Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed risk of bias. We performed a narrative review. We planned to do a meta-analysis but were unable to do so as included studies were not sufficiently comparable. We included three trials (four interventions) involving 196 participants with stroke and co-morbid anxiety. One trial (described as a 'pilot study') randomised 21 community-dwelling stroke survivors to four-week use of a relaxation CD or to wait list control. This trial assessed anxiety using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and reported a reduction in anxiety at three months among participants who had used the relaxation CD (mean (standard deviation (SD) 6.9 (± 4.9) and 11.0 (± 3.9)), Cohen's d = 0.926, P value = 0.001; 19 participants analysed).The second trial randomised 81 participants with co-morbid anxiety and depression to paroxetine, paroxetine plus psychotherapy, or standard care. Mean levels of anxiety severity scores based on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A) at follow-up were 5.4 (SD ± 1.7), 3.8 (SD ± 1.8), and 12.8 (SD ± 1.9), respectively (P value < 0.01).The third trial randomised 94 stroke patients, also with co-morbid anxiety and depression, to receive buspirone hydrochloride or standard care. At follow-up, the mean levels of anxiety based on the HAM-A were 6.5 (SD ± 3.1) and 12.6 (SD ± 3.4) in the two groups, respectively, which represents a significant difference (P value < 0.01). Half of the participants receiving paroxetine experienced adverse events that included nausea, vomiting, or dizziness; however, only 14% of those receiving buspirone experienced nausea or palpitations. Trial authors provided no information about the duration of symptoms associated with adverse events. The trial of relaxation therapy reported no adverse events.The quality of the evidence was very low. Each study included a small number of participants, particularly the study of relaxation therapy. Studies of pharmacological agents presented details too limited to allow judgement of selection, performance, and detection bias and lack of placebo treatment in control groups. Although the study of relaxation therapy had allocated participants to treatment using an adequate method of randomisation, study recruitment methods might have introduced bias, and drop-outs in the intervention group may have influenced results. Evidence is insufficient to guide the treatment of anxiety after stroke. Further well-conducted randomised controlled trials (using placebo or attention controls) are required to assess pharmacological agents and psychological therapies.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 117 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 346 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Unknown 344 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 56 16%
Student > Bachelor 49 14%
Researcher 47 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 33 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 21 6%
Other 60 17%
Unknown 80 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 84 24%
Psychology 52 15%
Nursing and Health Professions 43 12%
Social Sciences 21 6%
Neuroscience 12 3%
Other 38 11%
Unknown 96 28%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 90. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 October 2019.
All research outputs
of 17,838,103 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,773 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 277,879 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 243 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,838,103 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,773 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 277,879 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 243 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.