The TASK research team would like to thank the participants for their time and effort in this study.

We are delighted to publish our findings of the TASK study. 

 

In this study, we recruited 27 participants who were randomly allocated to two treatment groups: TASK-CBT (6 weeks of telephone and web-guided cognitive behavioural therapy) or TASK-Relax (6 weeks of web-guided relaxation).

The average age of our participants were 65, with more men (56%) than women. The majority had a stroke (63%) and about a third had a 'mini-stroke' or TIA (transient ischaemic attack). 

 

Key results: We demonstrated that it was feasible to deliver remote therapy to people with anxiety after stroke. Our preliminary findings showed that lower levels of anxiety were observed in those receiving TASK-CBT compared to TASK-Relax at weeks 6 and 20 after allocation. 

Anxiety data by treatment group at week 6 and week 20 post-randomization.  Both figures demonstrated the TASK-CBT group had lower level of anxiety  than the TASK-Relax group at week 6 and week 20

We also demonstrated that it was feasible to collect continuous data on activity and sleep using a wrist-worn sensor throughout the study. Participants wore the sensor for an average of 33 days.

Here are examples of what we produced from the data collected using the sensor.

Figures produced by Dr Athanasios Tsanas

Left: Summary of actigraphy data of a randomly selected participant (3-dimensional acceleration, wrist-temperature, and light) to illustrate data presentation. The vertical green transparent colour indicates automatically estimated sleep times. Transparent brown indicates nonwear times.

Right:  Actogram plot for a randomly selected participant to illustrate data presentation. Green transparent colour indicates automatically estimated sleep times. Transparent brown indicates nonwear times. 

Figure produced by Dr Athanasios Tsanas.

Activity and sleep measures between TASK-CBT and TASK-Relax at 20 wk post-randomization. IS indicates inter-daily stability; IV, intradaily variability; L5, least average activity over 5 consecutive hours in a 24-h day; M10, maximum average activity over 10 consecutive hours in a 24-h day; MDA, mean diurnal activity; MNA, mean nocturnal activity; 50th percentile sleep activity; sleep duration; and RA, relative amplitude.

Conclusion: Our TASK study provides preliminary findings which support a larger definitive clinical trial and the use of wrist-worn sensor in people with anxiety after stroke.

Report of the TASK study results is now published in Stroke. Click here to see the published paper.

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