Vol 44, No 1 (2010)

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Predictors of depressive symptoms in patients with stroke – a three-month follow-up

Halina Sienkiewicz-Jarosz1, Danuta Milewska2, Anna Bochyńska1, Adrianna Chełmniak3, Natalia Dworek3, Katarzyna Kasprzyk4, Katarzyna Gałecka3, Anna Szczepańska-Szerej5, Kamil Chwojnicki6, Beata Zyluk6, Agnieszka Słowik4, Danuta Ryglewicz1
DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3843(14)60402-3
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2010;44(1):13-20.


Background and purpose

Depression is one of the most common post-stroke complications, which could impair rehabilitation outcome and quality of life, and could also increase mortality after stroke. The aim of the present study was to assess the association between demographic, socioeconomic and clinical (stroke risk factors, type of stroke, location of vascular lesion, cognitive functions) factors on the presence and severity of post-stroke depressive symptoms in patients after first ever stroke as well as on their social functioning.

Material and methods

A prospective, cohort study with a three-month observation period was performed in seven centres. Severity of depressive symptoms was assessed with the help of a short, 15-item version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), 3 months after stroke onset.


On the basis of GDS (GDS ≤ 5 points or > 5 points) patients were allocated to a group without (n = 160) or with symptoms suggestive of depression (n = 82). The study groups did not differ with respect to age, sex or place of residence. Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that independent predictors for the presence of symptoms suggestive of depression at 3 months after stroke were: low level of education, low income, greater severity of stroke, worse functional status, self-reported problems with daily-living activities and need of help in daily living activities. More than 60% of patients with depressive symptoms limited their social contacts. Patients with depressive symptoms were unsatisfied with their relations with life partners and friends.


Our study showed a complex aetiology of post-stroke depressive symptoms with an important role of socioeconomic factors. Depressive symptoms after stroke worsen existing health, social and economic problems, and cause social isolation of patients.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska