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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

The nature stroke study; NASTRU: A randomized controlled trial of nature-based post-stroke fatigue rehabilitation

Palsdottir, Anna Maria; Stigmar, Kjerstin; Norrving, Bo; Petersson, Ingemar F.; Astrom, Mikael; Pessah-Rasmussen, Helene


Objective: To determine whether nature-based rehabilitation, as an add-on to standard care, has a long-term influence on post-stroke fatigue, perceived value of everyday occupations, disability, health-related quality of life, anxiety, and depression at follow-up 8 and 14 months after randomization.Design: Single-blinded, 2-armed, randomized controlled trial.Methods: Stroke survivors, identified through routine 3-month follow-up visit (sub-acute) or medical records (chronic stroke >1 year previously), were randomized to standard care + nature-based rehabilitation (intervention group) or standard care alone (control group). Blinded evaluations were conducted at follow-up 8 and 14 months after randomization, for the following outcomes: post-stroke fatigue (Mental Fatigue Scale; MFS), perceived value of everyday occupations (Occupational value instrument with predefined items), disability (modified Rankin Scale; mRS), health-related quality of life (Euro-QoL-5 Demension Questionnaire), anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HAD) and depression (HAD).Results: Approximately one-quarter of the screened patients were eligible for inclusion in the study; of these, half agreed to participate; a final total of 101 patients were randomized (mean age 67 years, 60% female). The patients with sub-acute stroke were highly compliant with the intervention. The participants in both the intervention and control groups improved, However, no statistically significant differences in improvement were found between the intervention and control groups for any of the outcome measures. Fatigue decreased to a value below the suggested cut-off for mental fatigue (<10.5) in the intervention group, but not in the control group.Conclusion: Nature-based rehabilitation is feasible and well tolerated. A larger randomized controlled trial is warranted.


horticultural therapy; everyday occupation; quality of life

Published in

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
2020, Volume: 52, number: 2, article number: UNSP jrm00020

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Occupational Therapy

    Publication identifier


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