The impact of poststroke depression on healthcare use by veterans with acute stroke

Huanguang Jia, Teresa M. Damush, Haijing Qin, L. Douglas Ried, Xinping Wang, Linda J. Young, Linda S. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Poststroke depression (PSD) is common among stroke survivors, and it is associated with worse functional outcomes and increased poststroke mortality. Limited information is available about its impact on healthcare use. This study assessed the impact of PSD on healthcare use by veterans with acute stroke. METHODS - In this retrospective, observational national study, 5825 veterans with acute stroke were identified from Veterans Affairs' (VA) inpatient databases. To determine the patients' comprehensive PSD and use status, VA and Medicare fee-for-service inpatient and outpatient as well as VA pharmacy data were used. PSD was established if a patient had an inpatient or outpatient depression diagnosis or if a patient received one of the antidepressants within the VA 12 months postindex stroke. Healthcare use referred to the number of hospital stays, outpatient visits, and cumulative length of inpatient stays under both VA and Medicare fee-for-service programs. Poisson regression was fitted to estimate the impact of PSD on use controlling for sociodemographic, clinical, and disease severity factors. RESULTS - Forty-one percent of the sample had PSD. After adjusting for patient demographic and clinical factors, we found that the patients with stroke with PSD had significantly (P<0.0001) more hospitalizations, outpatient visits, and longer length of stays 12 months poststroke compared with these patients with stroke without PSD. CONCLUSIONS - Patients with PSD had greater 12-month poststroke healthcare use even when controlling for other demographic and clinical variables. Early detection and appropriate management of PSD for veterans with acute stroke may help reduce their poststroke healthcare use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2796-2801
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006


  • Poststroke depression
  • Use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

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