Psychometric evaluation of a newly developed measure of emotionalism after stroke (TEARS-Q)

Niall M. Broomfield, Robert West, Allan House, Theresa Munyombwe, Mark Barber, Fergus Gracey, David C. Gillespie, Matthew Walters

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate, psychometrically, a new measure of tearful emotionalism following stroke: Testing Emotionalism After Recent Stroke - Questionnaire (TEARS-Q).

SETTING: Acute stroke units based in nine Scottish hospitals, in the context of a longitudinal cohort study of post-stroke emotionalism.

SUBJECTS: A total of 224 clinically diagnosed stroke survivors recruited between October 1st 2015 and September 30th 2018, within 2 weeks of their stroke.

MEASURES: The measure was the self-report questionnaire TEARS-Q, constructed based on post-stroke tearful emotionalism diagnostic criteria: (i) increased tearfulness, (ii) crying comes on suddenly, with no warning (iii) crying not under usual social control and (iv) crying episodes occur at least once weekly. The reference standard was presence/absence of emotionalism on a diagnostic, semi-structured post-stroke emotionalism interview, administered at the same assessment point. Stroke, mood, cognition and functional outcome measures were also completed by the subjects.

RESULTS: A total of 97 subjects were female, with a mean age 65.1 years. 205 subjects had sustained ischaemic stroke. 61 subjects were classified as mild stroke. TEARS-Q was internally consistent (Cronbach's alpha 0.87). TEARS-Q scores readily discriminated the two groups, with a mean difference of -7.18, 95% CI (-8.07 to -6.29). A cut off score of 2 on TEARS-Q correctly identified 53 of the 61 stroke survivors with tearful emotionalism and 140 of the 156 stroke survivors without tearful emotionalism. One factor accounted for 57% of the item response variance, and all eight TEARS-Q items acceptably discriminated underlying emotionalism.

CONCLUSION: TEARS-Q accurately diagnoses tearful emotionalism after stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-903
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Early online date21 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Stroke
  • emotionalism
  • mental health

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