Stroke Survivors Who Score below Threshold on Standard Depression Measures May Still Have Negative Cognitions of Concern

M Hackett, K Hill, Jenny Hewison, Craig Anderson, Allan House

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    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Background and Purpose: There has been an increase in screening for depression in the physically ill. We explored whether important negative cognitions may be missed by conventional approaches to screening for depression in 2 independently conducted stroke studies with similar Methods. Methods: The Auckland Regional Community Stroke (ARCOS) study was a prospective, population-based stroke incidence study conducted in Auckland, New Zealand, for 12 months in 2002 to 2003. The Stroke Outcomes Study was a prospective, hospital cohort study conducted in Leeds and Bradford, United Kingdom, for 33 months in 2002 to 2005. Symptoms of abnormal mood were assessed at 6 months in ARCOS with a single simple question, "Do you often feel sad and depressed?" and the 28-item General Health Questionnaire administered as part of a structured interview and in the Stroke Outcomes Study with the 28-item General Health Questionnaire and a single question about depressed mood taken from the Present State Examination. Results: Mood data were available at 6 months from 770 ARCOS and 492 Stroke Outcomes Study participants. A significant proportion (up to 28%) of people who did not meet study criteria for depression reported important negative cognitions such as hopelessness, worthlessness, or suicidality. People who were older, dependent in activities of daily living, or not partnered were more likely to report negative cognitions. Conclusions:s: Important negative cognitions, including suicidal thoughts, may be missed when people are screened for depression after stroke. Screening alone is not an adequate substitute for a sensitive exploration of the psychological impact of stroke on the survivor.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)478-481
    Number of pages4
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


    • Behavior
    • Depression
    • Epidemiology
    • Psychiatry
    • Stroke recovery


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