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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Post Stroke: Functional Capabilities and Depression

After a stroke a third of people become clinical depressed but testing and treating of depression post-strok can help improve functioning.

Research has found that individuals who remain depressed three months after a stroke are more likely to have decreased functional capabilities (e.g. dressing self and eating) than those whose depression was successfully treated!

According to a study by Arlene A. Schmid, “The relationship between post-stroke depression and recovery of function after a stroke has not been well understood. Previous researchers have looked at both depression and function after stroke but they did not investigate whether identifying and managing depression improved ability to accomplish tasks of daily living and other function related issues.”

This new research reports that successful depression management led to better functionality that might enable the individual to return to work or more thoroughly enjoy leisure functions while decreasing the caregiver burden.

In addition to improving the well being of Stroke patients, management of depression would lower health care costs associated with functional impairment and other post-stroke treatment issues.

"This study is one of the first to show not just the link between depression and worse function post-stroke, but that successfully treating depression symptoms actually improves post-stroke outcomes,” noted the researchers.

Luckily the Skills Development Service has already been delivering a course on Psychological Coping Strategies Post Stroke for some time, and has provided training to a number of Cardiac and Stroke Networks around the country! The course is available to be delivered in-house but seminars are also being run around the country throughout 2011 and BPS Learning Centre approved.

More information can be found on our website: Psychological Coping Strategies Post Stroke

(The study mentioned above is published in the March 15, 2011 issue of the journal Neurology.)

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