Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Screening for post-stroke depression inadequate and inconsistent, study finds

Date:
October 1, 2012
Source:
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Summary:
Physicians are prescribing anti-depressants for stroke patients without first giving them a proper diagnosis, they are over-treating some patients, and overlooking others.

Physicians are prescribing anti-depressants for stroke patients without first giving them a proper diagnosis, they are over-treating some patients, and overlooking others, according to a study presented October 1 at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

Related Articles


"A lot of people are being treated for depression, but we don't know if they're the right ones," says lead researcher Ms. Katherine Salter of Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario. "This study found that 40 per cent of stroke patients were treated for depression, but most were not screened or diagnosed. Who are we treating?"

Researchers examined medical charts for 294 patients discharged from five in-patient rehabilitation programs in southwestern Ontario over a six-month period beginning in September 2010. Only three of 294 patients given an antidepressant were formally screened, assessed and diagnosed with depression first. However, 40 per cent of all patients, whether or not they were screened or assessed for the condition, received treatment for depression.

Depression is the most common mental health issue following stroke, affecting more than a quarter of all stroke patients. Depression may affect a patient's ability to participate in post-stroke therapy and is associated with slower progress in rehabilitation and longer stay in hospital.

Researchers found that 100 per cent of patients who had already been taking an antidepressant at the time of their admission to in-patient rehabilitation still received one at the time of their discharge, largely without being reassessed. "No matter what the best practice recommendations say, if you're on an antidepressant when you show up, you will not likely be screened or assessed, but you will be given more drugs," says Ms. Salter.

Conversely, the lack of formal screening and assessment for depression means that stroke patients without a history of depression or other mental illness could be overlooked for treatment.

According to the study, patients with a previous history of psychiatric illness and those with severe impairments from their stroke are more likely to receive antidepressants.

Ms. Salter emphasizes that Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care call for clear and formal steps in the diagnosis and treatment of depression.

"Depression is a serious problem for people with stroke. We need to make sure that everyone who needs treatment for depression is receiving the right help," says neurologist Dr. Michael Hill, Co-Chair of the Canadian Stroke Congress.

Lack of access to mental health care professionals, as well as "some inertia" by clinicians reluctant to change their practice, may be to blame for the failure to screen patients properly, says Ms. Salter. "We need to be able to include psychological resources as part of our health care team. These professionals should be a central, integrated part of recovery."

"Screening for depression after all strokes could result in more positive outcomes for patients and their families," says Ian Joiner, the director of stroke for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. "With screening, those who would benefit from specialized medication, counselling and referral to other health professionals won't be missed."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Screening for post-stroke depression inadequate and inconsistent, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083904.htm>.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. (2012, October 1). Screening for post-stroke depression inadequate and inconsistent, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083904.htm
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Screening for post-stroke depression inadequate and inconsistent, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001083904.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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