Assessment of cognitive-behavioral symptoms and functional status among stroke survivors
Background: Stroke is one of the complex causes of death and disability. Stroke survivors often experience cognitivebehavioral and functional changes. Aim: The present study aims to assess the cognitive-behavioral symptoms and functional status among stroke survivors. Methods: A descriptive study was done in Neurology and Neurosurgery Out Patient Department of a tertiary care hospital in India. Consecutive 55 adult stroke survivors who were conscious and accompanied by the caregivers were included in the study. Standardized tools such as mini-mental status examination (MMSE), Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NIP-Q), and Barthel index were used to assess the cognitive, behavioral symptom, and functional status of the patients. Results: Among 55 stroke survivors, 75% of survivors had normal cognition, 20% had a mild cognitive deficit, and 5% had a moderate cognitive deficit. Anxiety was present in 65.5%, apathy in 58.2%, and irritability in 54.5% of the patients. On the assessment of functional status, 40% of the survivors were independent, 23.6% had a moderate dependency, 18.2% had a slight dependency, and 18.2% had a severe dependency. Conclusion: Most of the survivors had various levels of deficits in cognitive, behavioral, and functional status. Common behavioral symptoms seen in patients of stroke included anxiety, apathy, and irritability. Nurses being part of the stroke team must carry out a comprehensive assessment of the cognitive, behavioral and functional status of the patients with stroke during follow up visits using brief, simple and valid tools. Appropriate and timely assessment is required to streamline the rehabilitation requirement and predict the outcome.