Confirming the Mechanism of Motivational Interviewing Therapy after Stroke (COMMITS)

Did you know?

  • There are over 100,000 strokes in the UK each year, and two-thirds of people survive a stroke.
  • One-third of stroke survivors are depressed at any one time which leads to poorer outcomes.
  • Depression is inadequately treated after stroke.
  • Motivational Interviewing-Based Intervention (MIBI) is a talk-based therapy that supports personal adjustment after stroke through eliciting valued and realistic goals.

What is COMMITS?

Study aim

To evaluate the effect of MIBI (plus usual care), compared with Attention Control and Usual Care alone, on depressive symptoms after stroke.


  • Explore the mechanism of action of MIBI by measuring confidence and self-efficacy
  • Explore how the effectiveness of MIBI is modified by the dose and therapeutic alliance
  • Estimate the level of fidelity to MIBI by therapists delivering the intervention

Patients will be randomised into 1 of 3 study arms:

  • 400 participants
  • Four 45-minute sessions of MIBI
  • 1 session each week
  • Delivered by a trained MIBI Therapist


  • Postal questionnaires at 6 weeks and 3 months after stroke
  • Measures of depressive symptoms, confidence, and recovery

Who is involved?

  • COMMITS study to run in 15 stroke units in England
  • Aim to recruit 1200 patients to be allocated across the 3 study arms
  • Clinical staff at each hospital to be trained to deliver the Motivational Interviewing-Based Intervention
  • NHS staff at each hospital to be trained to deliver Attention Control
  • A Patient, Carer and Public Involvement group, with an independent chair, has been established and will meet regularly throughout the study
 Research Group


Expertise and Subject area

Stroke Health and Wellbeing Nursing

Project Lead/Contact

Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Lightbody 

Clinical Trials Unit

Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit

Clients or Funders

  • NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC, North West Coast)
  • NIHR Senior Investigator Award
  • University of Central Lancashire


3 years, starting 2019

Project Staff

  • Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Lightbody (Chief Investigator)
  • Professor Dame Caroline Watkins
  • Dr. Malcolm Auton
  • Dr. Leanne Daniels
  • Denise Forshaw
  • Professor Maree Hackett
  • Dr. Emma-Joy Holland
  • Dr. Stephanie Jones
  • Kulsum Patel
  • Dr. Gordon Prescott
  • Lorraine Wackrill