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Lucy Cavendish College PhD student Karen has published two papers from her PhD on Post-Stroke fatigue (PSF)

Karen Thomas is a Lucy Cavendish PhD student researching Post-Stroke Fatigue which she describes as a common and debilitating condition affecting stroke survivors’ quality of life, mood state and mortality risk. There is no widely accepted evidence-based method of assessment or management currently.

Karen says: “My two recently published studies shed light on how fatigue is understood by stroke survivors, their supporters and healthcare practitioners. The array of approaches to articulating and managing post-stroke fatigue identified by stroke survivors highlights the need for better evidence on how to optimise both the recovery process and education. Although health care practitioners believe it should be regarded as an important medical condition, opinions vary regarding conceptualisation and management. Better understanding by health care practitioners of stroke survivor lay beliefs may help them support their patients understanding and management of post-stroke fatigue.”

The newly published paper is now available here:

and the paper she published 4 months ago that works in parallel with the latest one is available here:

Prior to starting her PhD within the University Primary Care and Public Health department, Karen attained an undergraduate degree in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences and an MSc in Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham. During her undergraduate degree, she worked with Professor Neil Walsh developing a novel non-invasive biomarker of immunity, studying the effect that a period of sustained exercise training would have upon it. Her masters research followed on from her growing interest in clinical neurological populations, carrying out a pilot study utilising aquatic treadmill training in community dwelling stroke survivors, specifically studying the effects on cerebrovascular responsiveness and gait functioning. Karen’s PhD research project in the area of stroke care in the community within the cardiovascular group in the Primary Care Unit. “Post-Stroke Fatigue: An underdeveloped yet high importance evidence base”.


Two other medical students, also from Lucy Cavendish College, supported her with these studies. Chloe Gamlin helped her with study 1 (talkstroke forum) and Clarissa Hjalmarsson on study 2 (therapist survey). They have both attended conferences with Karen to present the studies and are named authors on the papers.