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Pre-morbid personality and depression following stroke

  • David L. Storor (a1) and Gerard J. A. Byrne (a2)


Background: The role of individual differences, including pre-morbid personality, in the development of post-stroke depression, has received relatively little attention. We undertook a cross-sectional study to investigate the relationship between pre-morbid personality and other individual differences, and depression following acute stroke.

Method: We studied 61 consecutive patients admitted to a dedicated stroke inpatient unit. DSM-IV depressive diagnoses were ascertained using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and depressive symptoms were ascertained on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Informant-rated personality scores were obtained on the full 240-item Neuroticism, Extraversion and Openness Personality Inventory – Revised. Adaptive function was measured on the Modified Barthel Index and the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scale. Cognitive function was assessed on the Mini-mental State Examination.

Results: An increased risk of post-stroke depression was conferred by both pre-morbid neuroticism [odds ratio (OR) 3.69; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.25–10.92] and a past history of mental disorder (OR 10.26; 95% CI 3.02–34.86). There was no significant relationship demonstrated between lesion location and post-stroke depression.

Conclusions: Informant-rated pre-morbid neuroticism and a past history of mental disorder were important predictors of depression following stroke. Stroke side was not significantly related to risk of depressive symptoms following stroke.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Gerard Byrne, Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Queensland, K Floor, Mental Health Centre, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Queensland 4029, Australia. Phone: +61 7 3365 5152; Fax: +61 7 3365 5488. Email:



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