OBJECTIVE. We sought to determine the association between minimal depression, upper-extremity (UE) impairment, and UE motor function in a cohort of participants with subacute stroke.

METHOD. We conducted a retrospective, secondary analysis of an interventional study. Correlational analyses were performed using the following outcome measures: the UE section of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FM), the functional ability section of the Arm Motor Ability Test (AMAT), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI–II).

RESULTS. We found a negative correlation between BDI–II and both the FM (−.120, p = .196) and the AMAT (−.110, p = .275); however, this correlation was not statistically significant. Women exhibited higher depression scores (8.75 ± 0.78) than men (6.29 ± 0.46; p = .008).

CONCLUSION. Low levels of depression are not associated with UE motor impairment and function in people with minimal to moderate UE disability levels. Poststroke depression occurs more frequently in women, warranting additional research on sex-specific differences. Given the proliferation of UE therapies targeting this group, this information is important for effective therapy planning and implementation.

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