Abstract

This study examined prevalence of depression and anxiety as well as the relationships of age, gender, hemisphere of lesion, functional independence, and cognitive functioning (i.e., memory, attention/impulsivity, cognitive speed) to depression and anxiety at 3 months post stroke in 73 individuals. Prevalence of moderate to severe depression and anxiety in the sample were high (22.8 and 21.1%, respectively), with co-morbidity in 12.3% of cases. In regression analysis, 74.6% of variance in depression was explained, with significant relationships between increased depression and younger age, reduced cognitive speed, poorer verbal memory, left hemisphere lesion, and increased impact of interference (Stroop ratio). Left hemisphere of lesion also contributed to prediction of anxiety, as did cognitive speed, explaining 50.7% of the variance. The findings suggest that individuals with left hemisphere lesions may be particularly at risk of developing depression and anxiety after stroke, with younger individuals also at heightened risk of depression. While age and hemisphere of lesion contributed, cognitive performance explained the greatest proportion of variance in both depression and anxiety (51.3 and 38.5%, respectively). The findings suggest that cognition and mood are linked over and above physical independence and that both should be addressed as part of the rehabilitative process.