Abstract 23: African American Women Delay in Stroke Treatment Seeking
Despite decades of research on stroke awareness and prevention targeting Americans in the U.S., research focusing on African American Woman (AAW) has remained limited. Pilot Study’s Specific Aims were:
Determine AAW’s knowledge of major signs and symptoms of TIA and stroke.
Determine AAW’s knowledge of major risk factors for TIA and stroke
Identify the major factors affecting AAW’s delay in seeking treatment when a TIA or stroke is suspected.
Theoretical Framework: The Common Sense Model was the guiding framework that provided the structure for identifying and interpreting the AAW’s perceptions and actions.
Sample: A convenience sample of 203 AAW ranging in age from 20-91 (M=55) were obtained through local churches. Educational levels were 42.3% college graduates, 24% some college, 15.8% technical training, and remaining high school graduates. Thirty percent were either married or single and remaining divorced or widowed).
Design and methodology: In this descriptive study after obtaining informed consent, participants completed a demographic form and an instrument assessing their knowledge of TIA and stroke signs and symptoms, major risk factors, treatment seeking behavior, and major factors affecting treatment seeking. The study instrument had content validity and a Cronbach alpha reliability of .76.
Results: With regard to stroke symptoms, weakness and ability to speak were identified 85% and 87% respectively, while visual disturbances were selected 71% of the time. Shortness of breath and chest pain were also incorrectly identified 50% of the time as major symptoms. Ninety-six percent knew hypertension was a major risk factor as cigarette smoking (78%), and being African American (75%). Fewer than 20% knew being male was a risk factor. The first action for 97% of the participants who suspected a TIA or stroke was calling 911. The major factors identified as being linked to actually calling 911 were the signs/symptoms of speaking difficulties (F=3.08, p =.003), weakness F=4.53, p=.004), the risk factors of high cholesterol (F=4.56, p=.04), diabetes (F=4.2, p=.006) and obesity (F=4.07, p<.008) in that order. Building upon these study findings a larger longitudinal study will be designed with an educational intervention component.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.