Longitudinal Trajectories of Post-Stroke Depression Symptom Subgroups
Post-stroke depressive symptoms are prevalent and impairing, and elucidating their course and risk factors is critical for reducing their public health burden. Previous studies have examined the course of post-stroke depression, but distinct depressive symptom dimensions (eg, somatic symptoms, negative affect [eg, sadness], anhedonia [eg, loss of interest]) may vary differently over time.Objective
The present study examined within-person and between-person associations between depressive symptom dimensions across 3 timepoints in the year following discharge from in-patient rehabilitation hospitals, as well as the impact of multiple clinical variables (eg, aphasia).Methods
Stroke survivors completed the Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale (CES-D) at discharge from post-stroke rehabilitation (“T1”) and at 3-month (“T2”) and 12-month (“T3”) follow-ups. Scores on previously identified CES-D subscales (somatic symptoms, anhedonia, and negative affect) were calculated at each timepoint. Random intercept cross-lagged panel model analysis examined associations between symptom dimensions while disaggregating within-person and between-person effects.Results
There were reciprocal, within-person associations between somatic symptoms and anhedonia from T1 to T2 and from T2 to T3. Neither dimension was predictive of, or predicted by negative affect.Conclusions
The reciprocal associations between somatic symptoms and anhedonia may reflect a “vicious cycle,” and suggest these 2 symptom dimensions may be useful indicators of risk and/or intervention targets. Regularly assessing depression symptoms starting during inpatient rehabilitation may help identify stroke survivors at risk for depression symptoms and facilitate early intervention.