Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Psychosocial Therapy With Antidepressants More Effective In Helping Depressed Stroke Patients

Date:
August 31, 2009
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Depressed stroke patients who received medication and psychosocial therapy improved significantly in the short term and a year later, compared to those receiving medication alone. The psychosocial therapy focused on depression education, problem-solving and increasing pleasant experiences. Depression is common after stroke and can impede recovery.

Psychosocial therapy combined with medication can effectively improve depression and recovery in stroke patients, according to a new study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In the first long-term study of psychosocial/behavioral therapy in combination with antidepressants, researchers found that adding psychosocial therapy improved depression scores short term and those improvements were sustained long term. At one year:

  • Depression scores dropped 47 percent in patients treated with eight weeks of psychosocial/behavioral therapy and antidepressants.
  • Scores dropped 32 percent among those having usual care, which included taking antidepressants.

The results are clinically and statistically significant, researchers said. Patients with improved depression perceived their recovery as significantly greater and also felt their physical condition and social participation were better than those with lesser improvement in depression.

“Depression following stroke is an important public health problem,” said Richard C. Veith, M.D., co-author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. “One-third of patients who have strokes develop clinical depression, which makes them less able to recover from the stroke, worsens cognitive functioning, impairs social functioning and is associated with other adverse consequences.”

Researchers studied 101 clinically depressed non-hospitalized stroke patient (59 percent men, ages 25 to 88 years old). Each had suffered modest ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot) in the previous four months. The participants were divided into two groups: 48 received the psychosocial/behavior therapy along with medication for eight weeks, while 53 received medication as part of usual care, usually a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor such as sertraline (trade name Zoloft).

Research nurses conducted the psychosocial/behavioral therapy, modeled after cognitive behavioral therapy, visiting the patients nine times during eight weeks. The nurses conducted one-hour sessions, focusing on education about depression and on positive behaviors. The sessions covered how to increase pleasant events, problem solving, caregiver support and how to identify and modify negative thoughts.

At the beginning of the study, researchers found that all patients had a moderately severe depression rating on a standard rating scale called the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. The average scores for both groups were essentially the same: about 20. A score of 9 or below is desirable.

At nine weeks, the psychosocial/behavioral treatment group had a reduced depression score of 10, a highly significant improvement, twice as effective as the rating in the usual care group.

The lead author of the study is Pamela H. Mitchell, Ph.D. Other co-authors are: Kyra J. Becker, M.D.; Ann Buzaitis, M.N.; Kevin C. Cain, Ph.D.; Michael Fruin, M.N.; David Tirschwell, M.D.; and Linda Teri, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Nursing Research partially funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Psychosocial Therapy With Antidepressants More Effective In Helping Depressed Stroke Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806170715.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2009, August 31). Psychosocial Therapy With Antidepressants More Effective In Helping Depressed Stroke Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806170715.htm
American Heart Association. "Psychosocial Therapy With Antidepressants More Effective In Helping Depressed Stroke Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806170715.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins