Abstract T P279: Recognizing Depression in the Stroke Patient
Depression is a frequent sequela of stroke that has been associated with poor recovery and rehabilitation response. Clinical depression may occur within 3 months post stroke and can last for several years if left untreated.
Utilization of a depression screen helps identify patients at risk for post-stroke depression.
It is important to recognize and treat depression symptoms early to improve patient outcomes.
In performing a gap analysis in preparation for our survey for Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification, it became apparent this psychological aspect of patients was not being met. A systemic literature review was performed in search of a depression screening tool that was easy to use and addressed the needs of the patient. The tool chosen is the validated 2-item Patient Health Questionnaire depression module (PHQ-2). This depression screen is also utilized in our rehabilitation center which enhances the communication between our facilities.
After educating all the neuroscience nursing staff and stroke physicians, the tool became part of the patient assessment. The nurse screens each stroke patient on admission to the division or transfer from the intensive care unit. If the patient scores 3 or greater, the physician is notified so appropriate follow-up and treatment can occur. If a patient is unable to be assessed, the physician is notified so other depression assessment measures can be considered.
The utilization of a depression screening tool along with staff education has increased our staff’s awareness of the potential devastating effects depression can have on stroke recovery.
Author Disclosures: R.M. Donnelly: None. J. Burns: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.