Nonpharmacological Treatments for Post-Stroke Depression: An Integrative Review of the Literature

Res Gerontol Nurs. 2017 Jul 1;10(4):182-195. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20170524-02. Epub 2017 May 30.


Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the number one cause of long-term disability. Seventy-five percent of annual stroke victims are older than 65. Post-stroke depression (PSD) is a common consequence of stroke, with the estimated prevalence ranging from 25% to 79%. Although several studies have investigated the impact of pharmacological interventions on PSD, there is a significant gap in knowledge regarding the efficacy of nonpharmacological measures for treatment of PSD. The purpose of the current integrative literature review was to synthesize the state of knowledge on selected nonpharmacological treatments for PSD and present findings regarding the efficacy of investigated treatments. Twenty-one studies published from 1992-2016 were identified and synthesized. Results indicated that studies demonstrating improvement in depressive symptoms included ecosystem-focused therapy, life review therapy, problem solving therapy, meridian acupressure, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, music therapy, exercise, light therapy, motivational interviewing, and robotic-assisted neurorehabilitation. [Res Gerontol Nurs. 2017; 10(4):182-195.].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Psychotherapy / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / psychology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Survivors / psychology