Experiencing Depressive Symptoms in the Acute Phase After Stroke

Table of Contents

Problem Statement

The research problem in this study centered on the experiences of stroke survivors based on firsthand information. The study sought to explore the experiences of people suffering from depression emanating from a stroke at the acute stage (Kouwenhoven, Kirkevold, Engedal, & Kim, 2012). The current knowledge on PSD is limited to the results from depression-detecting tools as opposed to one-on-one interviews, which according to the authors would describe PSD better.

This research is designed in a way to explore not only the presence of depression amongst the aforementioned groups of the patient but also the nature and extent of such depression. The current knowledge regarding depression levels among stroke survivors is minimal and it is limited to the information gained from depression-detecting tools.

The author identifies the topic of the research as a significant one since depression is known to affect patient outcomes. Research indicates that PSD affects patient outcomes and it can even accelerate mortality. This aspect necessitates research on the topic to establish ways that could be used in disease management. The research aims at illuminating the experiences of stroke survivors regarding PSD. The research topic is of great importance since previous research has indicated the presence of PSD symptoms amongst stroke survivors. In addition, the problem of depression affects a big fraction of stroke survivors. It is evident from the literature review that 25% of stroke survivors show signs of depression. This percentage is significant, and thus research on the topic is of great significance.

Purpose and research questions

The purpose of the study was to confirm the assertion and findings from previous research about stroke survivors exhibiting signs of depression. In a bid to achieve the aforementioned purpose, the author used direct interviews to acquire firsthand information regarding the matter. The study was founded on two basic research questions, viz. what is the nature of depression as experienced by post-stroke patients in the acute phase, and what is it like to live with depressive symptoms following stroke within the first weeks? (Kouwenhoven, Kirkevold, Engedal, & Kim, 2012). The aims of the research and the research questions are well interwoven and are closely related to the research problem.

The research questions seek answers to achieve the purpose of the research and solve the research problem described at the onset of the study. The qualitative research method is best suited in health-related research as it provides rich depictions of multifarious phenomena. The majority of health-relatedresearchs is based on interviews and the qualitative method may thus work well for the researchers. In this research, the qualitative research method is the best since it is compatible with the research design regarding data collection. The researchers aimed to collect data through interviews and this goal could only be achieved through the qualitative method.

Literature Review

The authors use both quantitative and qualitative articles to illustrate the source of their hypothesis and emphasize the significance of the research topic. However, the qualitative sources outnumber the quantitative ones in the research paper. In addition to the qualitative and quantitative articles, the authors also cite books and journals by different authors, which are rich in the literature regarding the subject though not based on qualitative or quantitative research findings.

The references list is comprised of both current and past references. A greater portion of the current references used by the author is articles build upon quantitative research, while most of the past references represent qualitative articles. The use of old articles in qualitative research is acceptable since findings in such articles are relevant to other qualitative researches (Burns & Grove, 2010).

The authors discuss the contents of the current literature and cite their weaknesses. The major weakness of the available literature according to the authors is that they are narrow and thus they fail to explore the depression experiences among stroke survivors. According to the authors, the available literature is based on results from depression measuring tools that may not adequately exhaust the topic. The authors identify only a single article that attempts to shed light on the pinching issue based on interviews. The literature review provided by the authors is adequate to build a rational argument.

Conceptual / Theoretical Framework

The authors identify the perspective on which they develop the research. The research is fueled by knowledge constraints evident in the area of PSD. In most cases, results from qualitative research are shown in diagrams that may be in form of tables or other graphics. The authors of this research make use of the conceptual framework to summarize their findings. The framework is in the form of a table with the rows bearing the names of the participants and the columns bearing the variables being tested. The results of the test of each variable are shown in the intersection box between the column bearing the variable and the row bearing the name of the participant.


Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2010). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence-based practice (5th ed.). Maryland Heights, MO: Elsevier.

Kouwenhoven, S., Kirkevold, M., Engedal, K., & Kim, H. (2012). ‘Living a life in shades of grey’: experiencing depressive symptoms in the acute phase after stroke. Journal of advanced nursing, 68(8), 1726-1737.

Liu, L., Wang, D., Wong, L., & Wang, Y. (2011). Stroke and stroke care in China huge burden, significant workload, and a national priority. Stroke, 42(12), 3651-3654.

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