Background: Disabling anxiety affects a quarter of stroke survivors but access to treatment is poor. We developed a telemedicine model for delivering guided self-help cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety after stroke (TASK-CBT). We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of TASK-CBT in a randomized controlled trial workflow that enabled all trial procedures to be carried out remotely. In addition, we explored the feasibility of wrist-worn actigraphy sensor as a way of measuring objective outcomes in this clinical trial.

Methods / Measures: We recruited adult community-based stroke patients (n=27) and randomly allocated them to TASK-CBT (n=14) or relaxation therapy (TASK-Relax), an active comparator (n=13).

Results: In our sample (mean age 65 [±10]; 56% men; 63% stroke, 37% transient ischemic attacks), remote self-enrolment, electronic signature, intervention delivery, and automated follow-up were feasible. All participants completed all TASK-CBT sessions (14/14). Lower levels of anxiety were observed in TASK-CBT when compared with TASK-Relax at both weeks 6 and 20. Mean actigraphy sensor wearing-time was 33 days (±15).

Conclusions: Our preliminary feasibility data from the current study support a larger definitive clinical trial and the use of wrist-worn actigraphy sensor in anxious stroke survivors.

Trial Registration: Registration: URL: Unique identifier: NCT03439813.

DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.029042