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ICC Sydney

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Mental health matters after stroke: an integrative approach for better patient care

Session outline

Despite the significant number of stroke survivors with post-stroke depression and/or anxiety (30-50%), few receive formal diagnoses or treatment. This under-recognition and undertreatment can have significant negative effects on recovery, rehabilitation, and long-term quality of life outcomes for both stroke survivors and their families. This workshop aims to provide evidence-based information about mental health issues, screening, and treatment post-stroke, and will offer practical guidance about integrating mental health across the care continuum to optimize quality of life in stroke survivors and family caregivers. Using of a mix of presentations and interactive learning activities, presenters will provide:

  1. An overview of common mental health issues after stroke, along with best practice recommendations for screening and both medical and psychotherapeutic treatment options.
  2. A discussion of how mental health can be integrated into an interdisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation team to maximize engagement in therapies and prepare the patient and their family members for discharge.
  3. A discussion focused on transitioning back into the community, including environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal factors that can influence mental health and resilience in survivors and their family caregivers.
  4. Examples of innovative interventions and programs implemented at the presenters’ Institution designed to promote mental health in stroke patients and family caregivers. Participants will be invited to engage with some of the tools to promote mental health and will develop their own ideas for how to best integrate these into their own settings and practice.  
  5. Vignettes of stroke survivors discussing aspects of mental health will be presented for application of concepts.

Learning outcomes

After attending this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • identify common mental health issues after stroke
  • describe best practice treatment for mental health issues post-stroke
  • understand the importance of recognizing and treating mental health issues in stroke survivors and caregivers
  • understand how mental health support can be integrated into post-stroke care along the care continuum
  • describe at least 3 simple tools that can be integrated into their own practice to help support stroke survivors and their family caregivers

Target audience

  • Allied health
  • Medical practitioners
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Nursing staff
  • General public 

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