Post-Stroke Depression Severity Increases Dependency

Comorbidities, stroke severity, baseline depression severity linked to dependence after stroke

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- People who suffer from depression after a stroke are more likely to be dependent if they have more comorbidities, had a more severe stroke, or had increased baseline depression severity, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Neurology.

Arlene A. Schmid, Ph.D., O.T.R., of the Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center in Indianapolis, and colleagues investigated the relationship between post-stroke depression (PSD) at baseline (one month post-stroke) and function 12 weeks later, as well as whether improved depression affected function at 12 weeks. They used data from a cohort study of 193 patients with PSD and 174 patients without PSD to identify factors correlated with 12-week functional dependence.

The researchers found that patients with PSD were significantly more likely to be functionally dependent at 12 weeks if they had more medical comorbidities (odds ratio [OR], 1.10), increased stroke severity (OR, 1.42), and elevated baseline depression severity (OR, 1.13). Patients who were dependent at 12 weeks were significantly more depressed than those who were independent. The results were inconclusive as to whether improving depression independently improves function at 12 weeks.

"Even if the treatment and improvement of PSD does not directly influence functional recovery post-stroke, it is essential for PSD to be identified and treated due to its high symptom burden and association with other negative health and social outcomes," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to several pharmaceutical companies.

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