In the Netherlands, about 40,000 people are affected by strokes every year and that number is rising fast.
In 2009, the Stroke Rehabilitation Guidelines for Nurses were published. Researchers from the research group are working on revising these guidelines. One section of the guidelines is devoted to post-stroke depression. This is a common complication: some 30% of patients are affected by Post-Stroke Depression (PSD). Research shows that these patients recover less well and have more difficulty reintegrating into society. Depression after a stroke is not widely recognized and is therefore often treated inadequately or goes untreated entirely. A study into the feasibility of the Nursing Rehabilitation Stroke Guidelines showed that nurses need practical answers and tools to implement the recommendations. The research group has therefore developed the Post-Stroke Depression Tool Kit which includes tools for screening for depression and evidence-based nursing interventions. Currently, the research group is testing the usefulness and practicability of this toolkit in the daily care of patients hospitalized after a stroke. The work being done as part of this line of research focuses on detecting the symptoms of depression in patients who cannot communicate, due to aphasia for example.