CE: Early Intervention in Patients with Poststroke Depression

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Nearly one-third of stroke survivors experience depression. Poststroke depression is associated with longer hospital stays, poor physical and cognitive recovery, poor quality of life, high caregiver distress, increased risk of recurrent stroke, and higher rates of morbidity and mortality. Poststroke depression, however, often goes unrecognized and untreated because the physical and cognitive repercussions of stroke make it difficult to identify. Nurses are well positioned to recognize poststroke depression, educate patient caregivers, and aid patients who have poststroke depression in their efforts to achieve physical, cognitive, and emotional recovery. This article explains how poststroke depression often manifests, describes associated risk factors, and discusses the screening tools and therapeutic interventions nurses can use to identify and help manage depression in patients following stroke.

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