Stroke Workbook launches in Lothian

An innovative self-management programme, to help stroke survivors take control of their recovery, will be launched in Edinburgh today (3 October) by Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health.

The Stroke Workbook, and associated training for health professionals, is currently being introduced across Scotland to encourage people who have suffered a stroke to self-manage their condition.

The two year project, led by NHS Lothian, was supported by stroke survivors, their families and healthcare professionals across the country.

Louise Taylor, Head of the Heart Manual and Stroke Workbook teams, NHS Lothian, said: “The evidence shows that use of the Stroke Workbook increases recovery from disability and helps survivors maintain confidence in recovery.

“The patient’s recovery is aided by following the workbook programme with the support of a trained facilitator.”

There are currently 45 trained Stroke Workbook facilitators in Scotland - with over 100 stroke survivors and their families having used the workbook to date.

“The programme can be tailored to meet the individual needs of stroke survivors and their families and it’s written in plain language to encourage accessibility,” Louise Taylor added.

“NHS Lothian is committed to enable as many stroke survivors and their families to effectively self-manage the consequences of their stroke and potential recovery and hope that the Stroke Workbook and trained facilitators will support many across Scotland and beyond.”

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: “Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff, we’ve managed to cut the number of premature deaths from stroke by over 60 per cent over the last 15 years. 

“This fantastic achievement means that more people are surviving a stroke, but it also means that more people need support and rehabilitation following a stroke. 

“The Stroke Workbook is an important new tool that will help people to recover from stroke. I’m delighted that already, over 100 people who have had a stroke have benefitted from the Workbook. I look forward to seeing similar successes in Lothian now that the Stroke Workbook has been launched there.”

Professor Marie Johnston, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Aberdeen, will give a presentation into the background of the Stroke Workbook at today’s launch.

Professor Johnston was involved in the original research for the workbook which showed that people with a stronger belief that they could influence their recovery from stroke, improved much more than those with more negative views.

“We set out to look at why two people with seemingly similar strokes behaved in very different ways. After interviewing stroke patients once they had left hospital we found that while one person took the view that their life was now ruined, another would say that they were fine bar the fact that maybe their arm didn’t work as well as it once had.

“We found that those with the more positive beliefs made a better than average recovery whilst those who didn’t believe they personally could make any difference to their condition did not improve as much. It’s exciting to see evidence from this research now being delivered to patients throughout Scotland.”


Notes to Editors

  • The initial two year project work with the Stroke Workbook was supported by funding from the Scottish Government and Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.
  • The Stroke Workbook is currently being introduced across Scotland in response to the Scottish Government’s Stroke Action Plan. The workbook, diary and relaxation CD supported by a trained facilitator has been shown to increase recovery from disability and maintain confidence in recovery from stroke. The overall aim is to enable as many survivors and their families to effectively self-manage the consequences of their stroke and their potential recovery.
  • Further information can be accessed from The Heart Manual department, or by emailing
  • The original research for the Stroke Workbook was developed and led by teams from the University of St Andrews, University of Dundee and Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.

Issued: 3 October 2012

David Ridd

Communications Department

NHS Lothian