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Johnson Jessica L.; Minarik, Pamela A.; Nyström, Karin V.; Bautista, Cynthia; Gorman, Mark J.
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: September 2006
Editorial: PDF Only


Depression is a frequent complication of stroke, but few nurse researchers have studied poststroke depression (PSD). We reviewed all published research (January 1980-March 2005) that examined the incidence of and risk factors for depression among stroke survivors during the first 3 months after stroke. Many of the 49 studies reviewed were complicated by methodological limitations, including differing definitions of stroke and depression, the use of screening instruments to diagnose depression, selection bias, assessment at different time intervals poststroke, exclusion of patients with physical or cognitive impairments, and failure to control for associated variables. The incidence of PSD ranged from 5% to 63%. A history of depression, increased stroke severity, and poststroke cognitive or physical impairment were found to be risk factors for PSD.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Karin V. Nyström, MSN APRN, at She is the clinical coordinator of the Primary Stroke Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital and assistant clinical professor at Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, CT.

Jessica L. Johnson, MSN APRN, is a nurse practitioner in the Department of Neurology at Yale University School of Medicine.

Pamela A. Minarik, MSN CS FAAN, was a professor at Yale University School of Nursing and director of its Office of International Affairs when this study was completed. She currently is a doctoral candidate at the University of California-San Francisco.

Cynthia Bautista, PhD RN CNRN, is a neuroscience clinical nurse specialist at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Mark J. Gorman, MD, was director of the Stroke Program at Yale-New Haven Hospital when this study was completed. He currently is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT.

© 2006 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses