Purpose: The aim was to document the prevalence and predictors of anxiety and depression 5 years after stroke, across four European centres.
Method: A cohort of 220 stroke patients was assessed at 2, 4 and 6 months and 5 years after stroke. Patients were assessed on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and measures of motor function and independence in activities of daily living.
Results: At 5 years, the prevalence of anxiety was 29% and depression 33%, with no significant differences between centres. The severity of anxiety and depression increased significantly between 6 months and 5 years. Higher anxiety at 6 months and centre were significantly associated with anxiety at 5 years, but not measures of functional recovery. Higher depression scores at 6 months, older age and centre, but not measures of functional recovery, were associated with depression at 5 years.
Conclusions: Anxiety and depression were more frequent at 5 years after stroke than at 6 months. There were significant differences between four European centres in the severity of anxiety and depression. Although the main determinant of anxiety or depression scores at 5 years was the level of anxiety or depression at 6 months, this accounted for little of the variance. Centre was also a significant predictor of mood at 5 years. There needs to be greater recognition of the development of mood disorders late after stroke and evaluation of variation in management policies across centres.