Psychological distress, social support and medication adherence in patients with ischemic stroke in the mainland of China

  • Hong Zhang (张洪)Email author
  • Hai-zhou Qian (钱海舟)
  • Shu-qing Meng (孟曙庆)
  • Min Shu (舒敏)
  • Yong-zhe Gao (高永哲)
  • Yan Xu (徐艳)
  • Sheng-ming Zhang (张胜名)
  • Mei Hong (红梅)
  • Rong-hong Xiong (熊荣红)


Stroke research and rehabilitation have traditionally focused on the physical and functional impact of a stroke. Less attention has been given to the psychosocial factors associated with this chronic condition. By the few studies that have specifically focused on psychosocial factors in the context of stroke, poststroke depression is demonstrated to significantly influence stroke outcomes. Associations of stroke with psychological symptoms other than depression have rarely been evaluated. This study was aimed to investigate the changes of psychological stress, social support and medication adherence in patients with ischemic stroke in the mainland of China. In this study, 90 patients with hemiplegia one year after first-ever middle cerebral artery infarction (stroke group) in the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University from June 2008 to June 2011 were recruited for interview. Ninety age- and sex-matched normal volunteers (control group) were also examined at the same period. The psychological distress was assessed by the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90), the social support by the Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS), and medication adherence by Morisky’s self-reported inventory, respectively. Group differences were analyzed using unpaired-t test and chi-squared test. The results showed that total mean scores of the SCL-90 in the stroke group were higher than those in the control group (P<0.01). Except two dimensions, paranoid ideation and psychoticism, mean scores of the rest dimensions (including somatization, obsession-compulsion, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, and phobic anxiety) of SCL-90 were significantly higher in the stroke group than those in the control group (P<0.05, or P<0.01). The objective support, subjective support, support availability and total social support scores in the stroke group were significantly higher than those in the control group (P<0.05, or P<0.01). Those in the “SCL-90 total scores >150 group” were significantly higher than in the “SCL-90 total scores <100 group” and the “SCL-90 total scores between 100 to 150 group” (P<0.05, or P<0.01). Those in the “SCL-90 total scores between 100 to 150 group” were significantly higher than in the “SCL-90 total scores <100 group” (P<0.05). In 90 patients with ischemic stroke, 26 (28.89%) patients obtained high medication adherence, 47 (52.22%) patients medium medication adherence, and 17 (18.89%) patients low medication adherence, respectively. Among these stroke patients, there were 17 (50.00%) patients with high medication adherence in the “SCL-90 total scores >150 group”, 28 (75.67%) patients with medium medication adherence in the “SCL-90 total scores between 100 to 150 group”, and 12 (61.16%) patients with low medication adherence in the “SCL-90 total scores <100 group”, respectively. There was significant difference in the medication adherence rate among the different SCL-90 scores groups in these stroke patients (P<0.05 or P<0.01). It was led to conclude that ischemic stroke patients one year after hemiplegia have psychological distress, low level of social support and poor medication adherence in the mainland of China. Therefore, it is necessary to mobilize the government, medical institutions and various social support groups to offer psychological interventions to relieve the stress of patients with ischemic stroke, and improve their medication adherence.

Key words

stroke psychological distress social support medication adherence 


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Copyright information

© Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong Zhang (张洪)
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hai-zhou Qian (钱海舟)
    • 1
  • Shu-qing Meng (孟曙庆)
    • 1
  • Min Shu (舒敏)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yong-zhe Gao (高永哲)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yan Xu (徐艳)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sheng-ming Zhang (张胜名)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mei Hong (红梅)
    • 3
  • Rong-hong Xiong (熊荣红)
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyZhongnan Hospital of Wuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Teaching and Research Section of NeuropsychiatryZhongnan Hospital of Wuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineInternational Hospital of Mongolian MedicineHuhehaoteChina

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