Prevalence and correlates of post-traumatic stress disorder after ischaemic stroke

  • Stela RutovicEmail author
  • Dragutin Kadojic
  • Marinko Dikanovic
  • Kresimir Solic
  • Branko Malojcic
Original article


Although most often considered a consequence of traumatic event, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also occurs after illness. The aim of this study was to establish prevalence of PTSD in patients with ischaemic stroke (IS) and its correlation to lesion location, degree of disability, age, gender and marital status. The study included 85 patients with IS. PTSD was diagnosed using a modified version of the PTSD Checklist Specific for a stressor (PCL-S). Depression and anxiety were assessed using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). We defined stroke localisation as right cerebral hemisphere, left cerebral hemisphere, brainstem and cerebellum. Stroke severity was measured using the modified Rankin scale (mRS). Demographic information including age, gender and marital status was collected from medical history. Of the 85 patients with IS, 11 (12.9%) fulfilled PCL-S criteria for PTSD. We found a positive correlation between PTSD and higher degree of disability, P < 0.001. Patients with PTSD had lesions more frequently localised in the right cerebral hemisphere and the brainstem. We found no statistically significant correlation of PTSD with age, gender and marital status. Our results show that a significant number of IS patients develop PTSD after IS. Determining correlates of post-stroke PTSD can help to identify those at higher risk for its development. If proven by additional large sample studies, more patients can benefit from screening for the PTSD symptoms.


Post-traumatic stress disorder Ischaemic stroke Disability score Location 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Stela Rutovic received a research grant from European Stroke Organisation (ESO).

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Ethic Committee of General Hospital Slavonski Brod and performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Belgian Neurological Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Polyclinic Glavic Zagreb, Osijek School of MedicineJosip Juraj Strossmayer University of OsijekZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, University Hospital Centre Osijek, Osijek School of MedicineJosip Juraj Strossmayer University of OsijekOsijekCroatia
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, General Hospital Slavonski Brod, Osijek School of MedicineJosip Juraj Strossmayer University of OsijekSlavonski BrodCroatia
  4. 4.Department of Medical Statistics, Osijek School of MedicineJosip Juraj Strossmayer University of OsijekOsijekCroatia
  5. 5.Department of Neurology, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Zagreb School of MedicineUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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