Psychosocial therapy combined with medication can effectively improve depression and recovery in stroke patients, according to a new study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
In the first long-term study of psychosocial/behavioral therapy in combination with antidepressants, researchers found that adding psychosocial therapy improved depression scores short term and those improvements were sustained long term. At one year:
* Depression scores dropped 47 percent in patients treated with eight weeks of psychosocial/behavioral therapy and antidepressants.
* Scores dropped 32 percent among those having usual care, which included taking antidepressants.
The results are clinically and statistically significant, researchers said. Patients with improved depression perceived their recovery as significantly greater and also felt their physical condition and social participation were better than those with lesser improvement in depression.
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