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Cerebrovasc Dis. 2009;28(2):157-65. doi: 10.1159/000226114. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Poststroke depression: prevalence and determinants in Brazilian stroke patients.

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Department of Neurology, Sarah Network of Rehabilitation Hospitals, Sarah Hospital, Brasilia, Brazil.



Poststroke depression (PSD) is one of the most important long-term adverse psychosocial consequences in stroke survivors. Our objective was to assess the prevalence of PSD in Brazilian stroke patients and identify significant associated factors.


A cross-sectional study of stroke patients consecutively admitted for rehabilitation was conducted. The patients were evaluated by means of the NIH Stroke Scale, Mini-Mental State Examination, Barthel Index, Lawton Scale, modified Rankin Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and MOS-Short Form 36. Patients with a HADS-depression subscale score > or = 11 and/or GDS score > or = 8 were classified as depressed.


Three hundred stroke survivors were assessed (mean age: 56.3 years; 51.7% males). Half (46.7%) of the stroke patients had an m-RS score < or = 2. The proportion of stroke patients who scored > or = 11 points on the HADS-depression and HADS-anxiety subscales were 19.2 and 23.7%, respectively. One third (29.7%) had a GDS mean score > or = 8. The GDS scores significantly correlated (p < 0.0001) with the HADS-depression (r = 0.51) and HADS-anxiety subscales (r = 0.54). The prevalence of mood disorders was significantly higher in females than in males (24.8 vs. 14.2%; x(2), p = 0.03). PSD was significantly associated (p < 0.0001) with work status (housewife), education level, lower social and cognitive functioning, dependence in the instrumental activities of daily living and presence of diabetes in the multivariable regression analysis (R adjusted = 0.32).


PSD was highly prevalent in the chronic phase of stroke. Early detection and recognition of associated risk factors is important to treat and prevent PSD in a rehabilitation setting.

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