Stroke survivors with PTSD 'struggle to stick to treatment plan'

18 January 2013

People who have suffered a stroke and experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are less likely to stick to a treatment regime that will reduce the risk of them experiencing another stroke.

This is the main finding of a new study delivered by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center. The team noted how 65 per cent of stroke survivors with PTSD fail to stick to what could be a life-saving treatment programme.

In comparison, survivors not suffering from PTSD, are less likely to relapse, with only 35 per cent failing to adapt their lifestyle as dictated by health specialists.

"Unfortunately, too many stroke survivors are not compliant with these regimens, even though we know that adherence to post-stroke treatment regimens is one of the most important components of reducing the risk of a future stroke," commented Ian M Kronish, assistant professor of medicine and a contributing author to the report.

"For those with PTSD, this study shows that concerns about medications are a significant barrier to treatment adherence."

The expert added that stroke survivors should be assessed for concerns about medications, as well as any symptoms of PTSD. This would help healthcare practitioners intervene as swiftly as possible to "get patients back on track to avoid future stroke events".

Posted by Edward Bartel

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