Navigation Links
Early Talk Therapy May Help Stroke Patients Bounce Back

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- After suffering a stroke, patients who talk with a therapist about their hopes and fears about the future are less depressed and live longer than patients who don't, British researchers say.

In fact, 48 percent of the people who participated in these motivational interviews within the first month after a stroke were not depressed a year later, compared to 37.7 of the patients who were not involved in talk therapy.

In addition, only 6.5 percent of those involved in talk therapy died within the year, compared with 12.8 percent of patients who didn't receive the therapy, the investigators found.

"The talk-based intervention is based on helping people to adjust to the consequences of their stroke so they are less likely to be depressed," said lead researcher Caroline Watkins, a professor of stroke and elder care at the University of Central Lancashire.

Depression is common after a stroke, affecting about 40 to 50 percent of patients. Of these, about 20 percent will suffer major depression. Depression, which can lead to apathy, social withdrawal and even suicide, is one of the biggest obstacles to physical and mental recovery after a stroke, researchers say.

Watkins believes their approach is unique. "Psychological interventions haven't been shown to be effective, although it seems like a sensible thing," she said. "This is the first time a talk-based therapy has been shown to be effective.

One reason, the researchers noted, is that the therapy began a month after the stroke, earlier than other trials of psychological counseling. They speculated that with later interventions, depression had already set in and may have interfered with recovery. Early therapy, Watkins has said, can help people set realistic expectations "and avoid some of the misery of life after stroke."

The report was published in the July issue of Stroke.

For the study, the researchers randomly assigned half of 411 stroke patients to see a therapist for up to four 30- to 60-minute sessions and the other half to no visits with a therapist. All of the patients received standard stroke care, the study authors noted.

During the sessions, patients were asked to talk about their future, what obstacles they thought they would have to overcome in recovery and how confident they were about solving them.

In addition, the patients were encouraged to come up with their own solutions to the problems they were going to face, Watkins explained. "It's not just talking to people in any old way," she said.

Patients with severe communication problems were excluded from the study because it would have been difficult for them to take part in talk-based therapy, Watkins added.

After a year, the patients responded to a questionnaire to see how well they were doing.

Watkins noted that the study was done only in one hospital and only with a specific therapy. Whether this approach would be useful in other hospitals or with other types of talk therapy isn't clear, she noted.

She and the other researchers also pointed out that although a larger number of patients in the control group died within the year -- suggesting a strong link between mood and death following a stroke -- further research needed to be done to examine the cause of the deaths.

Intriguingly, the therapists were not clinical psychologists, but two nurses and two people with psychology degrees. They were trained and supervised by a clinical psychologist, suggesting that other health care settings could do the same at a low cost.

Commenting on the research, Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, a professor of medicine and director of the Duke Stroke Center at Duke University Medical Center, said that "this is a promising initial study."

However, it was limited to a selected group of patients from a single hospital. "The study will need to be replicated and the generalizability of the findings established with testing in a broader range of study sites," he said.

More information

For more information on stroke, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Caroline Watkins, Ph.D., professor of stroke and elder care, University of Central Lancashire, U.K.; Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., professor of medicine, director, Duke Stroke Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; July 2011, Stroke

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Minnesota Department of Health Report: Nearly 6,000 Hospitalizations for COPD in 2007
2. Moms Lifestyle in Early Pregnancy Affects Babys Size
3. Early life stress may predict cardiovascular disease
4. MDS Announces Agreements to Divest MDS Pharma Services Early Stage Business
5. Alzheimers Association Applauds Social Security Administration for Adding Early-Onset Alzheimers to Its Compassionate Allowances Initiative
6. Alzheimers Foundation of America Applauds Social Security for Speeding Disability Benefits for Early-Onset Alzheimers Disease
7. JCI online early table of contents: Feb. 15, 2010
8. 29 Clear Channel stations Nationwide Raise Nearly $2.8 Million to Help Save the Lives of Kids Fighting Cancer and Other Deadly Diseases
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Early On, Hormone Therapy May Raise Womens Heart Risks
11. Responds to the National Acadamy of Sciences Report that Millions of Americans Get Sick Yearly from Contaminated Water
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Early Talk Therapy May Help Stroke Patients Bounce Back 
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... The ... OSHA Training Institute Education Center headquartered in Northern California, has issued an important ... heat at their worksites. Employers with workers exposed to high temperatures should ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with growing colorful split screen ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color brings the split screens ... reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful panels. , ProSlice Color ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, ... today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows ... the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader ... two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions ... aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Global MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to ... The report contains up to date financial ... reliable analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on ... dive analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost ... Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Guerbet announced today that it has been ... Award . One of 12 suppliers to ... its support of Premier members through exceptional local customer ... commitment to lower costs. ... our outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: