Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) May Impair Stroke Victims’ Recovery

January 28, 2013

Stroke victims, their families and attorneys should be aware that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common disorder found after stroke or major traumas, and may play a significant role in impeding recovery. Frequently a consequence of acute life-threatening events, including acute coronary syndrome (ACS), cancer, and stroke, PTSD is estimated to affect up to 18% of stroke survivors.   PTSD has been shown to impair stoke victims’ reliable adherence to medication regimens, according to new research.

Investigators at Columbia University Medical Center in New York found that 65% of stroke survivors with PTSD failed to adhere to treatment vs 33% of their counterparts without PTSD. They also found that concerns about medications were a primary barrier to treatment adherence.
Stroke survivors should be assessed for concerns about medications and PTSD symptoms, so that interventions may be introduced as early as possible to get patients back on track to avoid future stroke events. The study was published online on January 7th in the British Journal of Health Psychology.

In survivors of strokes and transient ischaemic attacks…adherence to risk-reducing medications, including antiplatelet agents, antihypertensive agents, and statins, is especially important for preventing subsequent strokes.

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