This mental health disorder is common after stroke

  • Ignacio RV & al.
  • Nicotine Tob Res
  • 4 Sep 2018

  • curated by Jim Kling
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Almost 1 in 3 patients had an anxiety disorder within 1 year of suffering a stroke.

Why this matters

  • Anxiety after a stroke gets less attention than other mental health disorders, and patients with stroke often express dissatisfaction with mental health services.
  • Anxiety affects QoL and could put patients at greater risk of developing depression.
  • It may be worth considering screening of patients with stroke for anxiety disorders.

Study design

  • This systematic review (37 studies; n=13,756) and meta-analysis (31 studies) assessed patients during the first year after stroke.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • The overall pooled prevalence of anxiety during the first year of stroke was 29.3% (95% CI, 25.1%-33.5%; heterogeneity [I2], 97%; P<.00001>
  • Pooling studies using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety showed a prevalence of 27.4% (95% CI, 22.5%-32.3%; I2, 97%; P <.00001>
  • Prevalence of anxiety after:
    • 0-2 weeks, 32.3% (95% CI, 22%-42.5%);
    • 2 weeks-3 months, 24.1% (95% CI, 16.7%-31.4%); and
    • 3-12 months, 23.8% (95% CI, 12.9%-34.7%).

Limitations

  • High heterogeneity.
  • Most of the studies had a small sample size.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm

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