Cognitive deficits, social support, depression and quality of life of post-stroke patients

Flávia Sousa, Vânia Rocha, Clara Estima, São Luís Castro, Marina Prista Guerra


A stroke is a life-threatening event which has physical, emotional and cognitive consequences. This
study aimed to identify differences between participants who suffered a stroke and healthy controls,
concerning cognitive performance, depressive symptoms, social support and quality of life; to examine
the associations between these variables among participants who suffered a stroke; and to identify the
variables that best classify patients and controls. The sample included 30 patients who suffered a
stroke and 30 healthy participants. Both groups presented similar sociodemographic characteristics.
All participants were assessed with The Institute of Cognitive Neurology Frontal Screening, the
Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Instrumental-
Expressive Social-Support Scale, and the Short Form Health Survey-36. Post-stroke patients had lower
cognitive performance, lower social support, lower quality of life and higher depressive symptoms
than the control group. Social support was positively related to quality of life and negatively related
to depressive symptoms in the clinical group. Cognitive deficits and depressive symptoms correctly
classified belonging to the clinical group in 85% of cases, and significantly predicted the stroke. This
study underlines the importance of implementing psychological interventions addressing depressive
symptoms and cognitive rehabilitation for post-stroke patients.


Stroke, Cognitive deficits, Depression, Social support, Quality of life.

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