Digital public defence: Ellen Gabrielsen Hjelle

MSc Ellen Gabrielsen Hjelle at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “Evaluating the effect of a complex intervention aiming to promote psychosocial well-being after stroke - A multicentre randomised controlled trial” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

Photo: Simon Sigurdson.

The University of Oslo is closed and the public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here


Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Professor Lena von Koch, Karolinska Institutet
  • Second opponent: Professor Marion Walker, University of Nottingham
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Nina Østerås, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Frank Becker, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Unni Sveen, OsloMet


The overall aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of a previously developed and feasibility-tested psychosocial intervention on well-being after stroke.

Three hundred and twenty-two stroke patients participated in the study after being recruited within the first month post stroke. The participants in the intervention group received a dialogue-based intervention in addition to standard stroke treatment.

The intervention targeted the participants’ feelings, thoughts and experiences after the stroke and consisted of eight individual one- to one-and-a-half-hour sessions between the participant and a trained healthcare professional. Each meeting had a guiding topical outline addressing significant issues described in the research literature, such as bodily changes, emotional challenges, personal relationships, daily life issues, meaningful activities, existential issues and important values. Psychometric properties of the primary outcome measurement of the randomised controlled trial was explored, and several different statistical analyses were applied to investigate the results.

Psychosocial well-being improved during the first year post-stroke. Most improvement occurred from one to six months after stroke. The analysis showed that a higher level of sense of coherence had a protective effect on a lower level of psychosocial well-being, but addressing psychosocial challenges did not strengthen the participants’ sense of coherence or psychosocial well-being. Several vulnerable groups at risk for developing psychosocial challenges were identified, but a benefit of the dialogue-based intervention was not found in the statistical analyses.

Conclusion The hypothesis that the participants in the intervention group would experience psychosocial well-being in form of improved mood, a higher level of health-related quality of life and less depression and anxiety was not confirmed.

Additional information

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Published May 19, 2020 10:41 AM - Last modified June 4, 2020 10:24 AM