The concept of anxiety as a comorbid condition with stroke was chosen because I am a registered nurse whose field of practice is neuroscience. I work in a hospital setting and many of my patients are stroke victims, among whom I have observed that anxiety is commonplace as the patient struggles to regain lost competencies and return to normal physical, vocal, and psychological as well as familial functioning. Anxiety and depression are both common among stroke victims (Zoler, 2002), requiring targeted nursing interventions.
Anxiety with stroke has been identified in the literature as one of the more commonly observed associations between a traumatic physiological event and a patient's emotional response to that event and its effects (Depression, anxiety increasea, 2002). Carter (2001) noted that stroke is linked to loss of function which can be permanent; more significantly, perhaps, is the fact that many individuals experience two or more strokes, thus creating even greater anxiety. These issues will be discussed below in a review of literature.
General information regarding stroke, its symptoms, recovery potential, and post-stroke care requirements was provided by Carter (2001). Carter (2001) noted that each year in the United states, about 2 of every 1,000 people suffer a stroke; about one in three strokes is fatal, many stroke victims never recover completely, and stroke becomes more common after age 60. Further, Carter (2001) commented that recovery usually begins within one to two weeks, with most of the recovery that is possible occurring within six months of the stroke.
Depression and anxiety are said by Carter to occur in more than half of all individuals who suffer a stroke. Counseling is recommended, as are a variety of occupational, speech and physical therapies that can enhance recovery potential and regaining of lost function. In untreated, anxiety and depression can delay recovery and even potentially ...