The aim of the study was to ascertain the prevalence of depressive mood and its determinants in the chronic phase after stroke.Design
Five hundred seventy-six consecutive patients were invited to participate 2 to 5 yrs after hospitalization for a first-ever stroke. Stroke characteristics at hospitalization were collected retrospectively from medical records. Patients and their caregivers completed questionnaires on depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]), sociodemographic characteristics, healthcare usage, daily activities, quality of life, and caregiver strain. Patients with HADS depression scores of less than 8 were compared with patients with HADS depression scores of 8 or higher by means of univariate logistic regression analyses, adjusted for age, sex, and Barthel Index at discharge.Results
Two hundred seven patients (36%) returned the questionnaires. After a mean follow-up of 36.3 mos, 67 patients (34%) had a HADS depression score of 8 or higher. Male sex and being born abroad were statistically significantly associated with a high HADS depression score, adjusted for age, sex, and stroke severity. Depressed patients had higher anxiety levels, a more avoidant coping style, less daily activities, and a lower quality of life; their caregivers experienced a higher burden.Conclusions
In the chronic phase after stroke, a considerable proportion of patients has depressive symptoms. This seems to be related to sex, country of origin, anxiety, coping style, daily activities, quality of life, and caregivers' strain. Future research should focus on causal relationships and opportunities for treatment.