Objective: To examine possible risk factors in post-stroke depression (PSD) other than site of lesion in the brain
Data sources: 191 first-ever stroke patients were examined physically shortly after their stroke and examined psychiatrically and physically 4 months post-stroke.
Setting: A geographically defined segment of the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia, from which all strokes over a course of 18 months were examined (the Perth Community Stroke Study).
Measures: Psychiatric Assessment Schedule, Mini Mental State Examination, Barthel Index, Frenchay Activities Index, physical illness and sociodemographic data were collected. Post-stroke depression (PSD) included both major depression and minor depression (dysthymia without the 2-year time stipulation) according to DSM-III (American Psychiatric Association) criteria. Patients depressed at the time of the stroke were excluded.
Patients: 191 first-ever stroke patients, 111 M, 80 F, 28% had PSD, 17% major and 11% minor depression.
Results: Significant associations with PSD at 4 months were major functional impairment, living in a nursing home, being divorced and having a high pre-stroke alcohol intake (M only). There was no significant association with age, sex, social class, cognitive impairment or pre-stroke physical illness.
Conclusion: Results favoured the hypothesis that depression in an unselected group of stroke patients is no more common, and of no more specific aetiology, than it is among elderly patients with other physical illness.