The Relationship Between Executive Impairment and Emotional Distrubances in Stroke Patients
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Executive impairment and emotional symptoms are commonly seen post-stroke. These symptoms may impact several aspects of daily life, such as employability and ability to maintain reasonable self-care. In this study, we examine the association between executive impairment and emotional symptoms in post-stroke patients. Increased knowledge about these relationships can help provide better care for stroke patients. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between executive impairment and emotional symptoms in stroke patients. The study is based on a group of 86 patients (MMSE>23) with ischemic infarctions (37 with cortical infarctions and 49 with lacunar supratentorial infarctions), recruited from a stroke unit at Akershus University Hospital. The average age at recruitment was 64.4 years, and 68% were male. Neuropsychological examination was performed one week and three months post-stroke. The patients were divided into two groups based on their performance on executive tests. When comparing the patients with executive impairment (defined as 1.5 SD below the mean for the normative sample on at least one executive test) to the remaining patients, the impairment group had significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms on the depression subscale of HADS (p<.05) at both one week and three months post-stroke. Multiple regression models showed that the depression subscale of HADS significantly influenced the outcome on 7 executive measures, while the anxiety subscale significantly influenced 2. The results of this study indicate that some stroke patients might have an increased need for follow-up, due to the relationship between depressive symptoms and executive impairment, and the consequences this may have for treatment.