Predictors for wellbeing and characteristics of mental health after stroke

Andreas Gammelgaard Damsbo*, Kristian Lundsgaard Kraglund, Henriette Nørmølle Buttenschøn, Søren Paaske Johnsen, Grethe Andersen, Janne Kaergaard Mortensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Poor mental health after stroke is common and complex. We aimed to identify predictors of poor wellbeing and to examine the overlap of poor wellbeing, fatigue, and depression. Method: Consecutive first-ever ischemic stroke-patients filled in questionnaires on wellbeing, fatigue, and depression at baseline and at one and six months. The World Health Organization 5-Item Wellbeing-Index (WHO-5), the Major Depression Inventory, and the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory were used. Patients were genotyped according to serotonin-transporter gene polymorphisms. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify potential predictors of poor wellbeing (WHO-5 score <50). Overlap between wellbeing, fatigue, and depression was examined using an Euler diagram. Results: We included 919 patients. The prevalence of poor wellbeing was 279 (30.4%) six months after stroke. Living alone at stroke onset was the strongest predictor of poor wellbeing with a mutually adjusted odds ratio of 1.53 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03 to 2.28) at one month and 1.77 (CI: 1.13 to 2.76) at six months. Severe stroke at admission also predicted poor wellbeing at six months. Abnormal fatigue occurred in half and incorporated almost all patients with poor wellbeing. Less than 5% fulfilled the criteria for depression at any point and almost all of these patients had poor wellbeing and abnormal fatigue. Antidepressants were used by 292 (31.8%) during follow-up. Limitations: Cognitive impairment was not measured and could interact with wellbeing post-stroke. Conclusion: Living alone strongly predicted poor wellbeing after stroke. Satisfactory mental health-recovery seems to require psychosocial interventions when indicated in combination with antidepressant treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Pages (from-to)358-364
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • 5-HTT-linked polymorphic region
  • Fatigue
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Post-stroke depression
  • Wellbeing
  • World Health Organization 5-Item Wellbeing Index


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