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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 195249, 20 pages
Review Article

The Importance of Psychological and Social Factors in Influencing the Uptake and Maintenance of Physical Activity after Stroke: A Structured Review of the Empirical Literature

1School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee, 11 Airlie Place, Dundee DD1 4HJ, UK
2Social Dimensions of Health Institute, University of Dundee, 11 Airlie Place, Dundee DD1 4HJ, UK

Received 15 June 2011; Accepted 12 July 2011

Academic Editor: Julie A. Bernhardt

Copyright © 2012 Jacqui Morris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. People with stroke are not maintaining adequate engagement in physical activity (PA) for health and functional benefit. This paper sought to describe any psychological and social factors that may influence physical activity engagement after stroke. Methods. A structured literature review of studies indexed in MEDLINE, CinAHL, P&BSC, and PsycINFO using search terms relevant to stroke, physical disabilities, and PA. Publications reporting empirical findings (quantitative or qualitative) regarding psychological and/or social factors were included. Results. Twenty studies from 19 publications (9 surveys, 1 RCT, and 10 qualitative studies) were included. Seventeen studies reported findings pertinent to psychological factors and fourteen findings pertinent to social factors. Conclusion. Self-efficacy, physical activity beliefs, and social support appear particularly relevant to physical activity behaviour after stroke and should be included in theoretically based physical interventions. The Transtheoretical Model and the Theory of Planned Behaviour are candidate behavioural models that may support intervention development.