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.