Mood disturbances are common after stroke and associated with poorer recovery. It is therefore important to identify and address anxiety symptoms throughout the rehabilitation process in order to reduce distress and improve rehabilitation.
Accurate screening for anxiety is the first step in identifying patients in need of further diagnosis and treatment. However, this is problematic in older stroke patients (65 years and over, as most measures have been developed for younger adults and often less suitable in older people, especially those with mild cognitive problems (a frequent complication of stroke).
Researchers have recently developed an instrument specifically designed to measure symptoms of anxiety in older adults. This measure, the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI), is short (20 items), easy to use and can be self-rating or used by health professionals. In the proposed study it will be investigated if the GAI is suitable for use in stroke survivors aged 65 years and older, who are undergoing inpatient rehabilitation.