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Empathy and social-emotional factors in recovery from stroke

Eslinger, Paul J.; Parkinson, Kari; Shamay, Simone G.


There is growing interest in evaluating the social and emotional effects of stroke, with the aim of improving recovery and outcome. Recent investigations indicate that post-stroke depression and social impairment are cross-cultural consequences that affect between one-third and two-thirds of patients. These conditions appear to be undertreated, even though studies confirm measurable benefits of medical and caregiver education interventions. A further improvement in outcome can be expected from the comprehensive recognition and management of other social and emotional alterations that encompass emotion-related communication disorders, reduced emotional arousal, initiation and expression, and impaired social cognition, empathy and related interpersonal competencies.

Departments of aMedicine (Division of Neurology), bBehavioral Science and Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, University Hospital Rehabilitation Center, The M.S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA; and cDepartment of Psychology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Correspondence to Paul J. Eslinger PhD, Clinical Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience Program, Division of Neurology, H037, Hershey Medical Center, PO Box 850, Hershey, PA 17033, USA Tel: +1 717 531 8692; fax: +1 717 531 4694; e-mail:

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