Stroke patients to be screened for depression
Stroke patients will be routinely screened for depression, the Bermuda Hospitals Board has announced.
Various hospital departments and disciplines are involved in the new process at the Primary Stroke Centre including allied health professionals (occupational, physical and speech therapists), nurses, physicians, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.
Dr Francene Gayle, BHB Primary Stroke Centre medical director, said: “Experiencing a stroke can dramatically affect a person’s life.
“Strokes can be debilitating, moving a normally functioning person to one with significant function impairment. This can happen suddenly.
“Such a drastic change in a person’s mental and physical condition is understandably often traumatic, not only for the person but also for their family. It’s the reason many stroke patients become depressed in the days, weeks and months following their diagnosis.”
Dr Chantelle Simmons, BHB Chief of Psychiatry, added: “In addition to the direct emotional impact, post-stroke depression is also associated with poorer functional outcomes.
“The good news is that treatment is available and we will provide it.
“Early identification and treatment of post-stroke depression is critical in optimising patient outcomes.”
The new process details how patients will be assessed and what treatment will be used on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.
Dr Wesley Miller, BHB Chief of Staff, said: “Recognising and attending to the mental health needs of our stroke patients is not only good for our individual stroke patients, but by extension for their families and friends. It’s beneficial to our Bermuda community.”
For more information on the Primary Stroke Centre click here.