• depression;
  • nurses;
  • nursing older people;
  • stroke;
  • stroke rehabilitation

Aim and objective.  The primary aim was to examine the prevalence of poststroke depression in Chinese stroke survivors six months after discharge from a rehabilitation hospital. A second aim was to determine whether six-month poststroke depression was associated with psychological, social and physical outcomes and demographic variables.

Background.  There has been increasing recognition of the influence of depression on poststroke recovery. While some previous studies report associations between depression and social, psychological, physical and clinical outcomes, few studies had sufficient sample sizes for regression analysis thereby limiting the clinical applicability of their findings.

Design.  A cross-sectional design was used.

Method.  Data were collected from 124 male and 86 female stroke survivors (mean age 71·7, SD 10·2 years). The Geriatric Depression Scale was used to measure depression, the State Self-esteem Scale to measure state self-esteem, the London Handicap Scale to measure participation restriction, the Social Support Questionnaire to measure satisfaction with social support and the Modified Barthel Index to measure functional ability.

Results.  Forty-two survivors (20·5%) reported mild and 33 (16·1%) reported severe depression. The presence of depression was associated with low levels of state self-esteem, social support satisfaction and functional ability. Logistic regression analysis revealed that these variables were statistically significant in predicting the probability of having depression (p < 0·05).

Conclusions.  Analyses in the present study revealed distinct patterns of correlates of depression, and the results were in agreement with prior studies that depression has a consistent positive association with physical disability, living arrangements and social support and no significant association with the different types of brain lesion.

Relevance to clinical practice.  There is a need, routinely, to assess stroke survivors for depression and, where necessary, to intervene with the aim of enhancing psychological and social well-being.