Stroke is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, and approximately one-third of these patients will develop post-stroke depression, which is associated with higher rates of morbidity and mortality (American Stroke Association, 2022). Even though post-stroke depression is prevalent, it often goes undertreated. The combination of antidepressants and cognitive-behavioral therapy has shown to be an effective method of treating post-stroke depression. There are cognitive-behavioral exercises that nurses can implement, such as group therapy, acceptance therapy, and cognitive retraining, a method of coaching the patient to replace negative thoughts with positive ones (Byun et al., 2021). With the addition of antidepressants prescribed by advanced practice practitioners or physicians, the patients can receive combination therapy. The consequences of not treating post-stroke depression include significant increases in hospitalization costs, poor patient outcomes, and increased length of stay (Lavu et al., 2022; American Stroke Association, 2022). The combination of antidepressants with cognitive-behavioral therapies versus singular treatment with antidepressants alone has shown to be effective in decreasing post-stroke depression symptoms and therefore should be considered as first-line treatment (Starkstein & Hayhow, 2019).To address the problem of post-stroke depression, the following research question was developed: In post-stroke patients who develop depression, how effective is cognitive-behavioral therapy combined with antidepressants, compared to antidepressants alone, in treating post-stroke depression symptoms, within the first three months post-stroke.

Date of publication

Spring 4-24-2024

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Master of Science in Nursing Administration

Included in

Nursing Commons