April 2015 Journal Club: Kutlubaev MA and Hackett ML (2014). Part II: Predictors of depression after stroke and impact of depression on stroke outcome: an updated systematic review of observational studies. International Journal of Stroke, 9(8), 1026-1036
Background: We previously published a systematic review in 2005 on factors associated with the development of depression in people with stroke.
Aim: To update and expand that review to include published data on the impact of depression on stroke outcome.
Methods: We included all published observational studies (to May 31, 2013) with prospective consecutive recruitment of people with a clinical diagnosis of stroke where an attempt was made to assess the variables associated with, or predictive of, the development of depression.
Results: We included data from 23 studies including 18 374 people. Depression after stroke was associated with prestroke depression, more severe neurological deficit and physical disability in the acute phase, and later after stroke. No consistent relationship between depression and demographic parameters or stroke features was identified. The review of the impact of depression on stroke outcome included data from 14 cohorts, including 4498 people, and found that depression was negatively associated with functional outcome in stroke survivors.
Conclusions: Early identification of patients at high risk of depression after stroke, those with a history of depression and physical disability after stroke, would enable the early implementation of effective management and prevention strategies for depression. The reciprocal relationship between depression and physical disability highlights the need for interventions that reduce disability after stroke, which may in turn improve mood and overall recovery for an increasingly large number of stroke survivors.