Depression is a sufficiently common sequela of a completed ischemic stroke to warrant intervention to improve social and functional outcome after stroke. PSD is associated with worse social and functional outcome as much as ten years post-stroke, poorer cognitive status, increased medical costs, impaired rehabilitation response, delayed return to work, and increased long-term mortality. The primary aim of this study is to determine the effect of a nurse-delivered psychosocial/behavioral intervention on reduction of depression in community dwelling post-stroke patients. We expect the combined behavioral and pharmacologic intervention to be more effective than pharmacotherapy alone in sustaining the improvement in depression for the experimental group. Secondary aims are to examine the effect of the psychosocial/behavioral intervention time course and sustainability of response to treatment, effect on limitations in ability, limitation in participation and overall stroke impact in community-dwelling post-stroke patients. 150 patients at three University of Washington affiliated hospitals that comprise the UW Stroke Assessment and Treatment center, who are found to be depressed within the first four months following ischemic stroke will be invited to join the study, and randomly assigned to a problem-solving/pleasant events intervention provided by an advanced practice nurse, or to regular clinic follow-up. Both groups will receive standard antidepressant treatment and written materials from the American Stroke Association, and will be assessed for up to two years following the study. The primary outcome is reduction in depression at 12 months following stroke. Secondary outcomes are reductions in limitations in activity (Barthel Index), reduction in limitation in participation (Stroke Impact Scale) and overall stroke impact (Stroke Impact Scale) at 6, 12, and 24 months post- stroke. We hypothesize that all patients will improve their mood and functional ability related to their post-stroke standard treatment, but that those who receive the psychosocial intervention will have significantly greater improvement in mood, functional ability, social participation, and less overall stroke impact at all follow-up measurement.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Research Project (R01)
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Nursing Research Study Section (NURS)
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Tully, Lois
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University of Washington
Other Health Professions
Schools of Nursing
United States
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