Abstract TP401: Inflated Expectations about Stem Cell Therapy in Patients With Chronic Stroke
Introduction: Stem cell therapy (SCT) has been proposed for the treatment of neurological disorders. Although there isinsufficient clinical evidence to support its efficacy, unproven SCTs are being performed worldwide.
Hypothesis: In this study, we investigated the perspectives and expectations of chronic ischemic stroke patients and physicians about SCTs.
Methods: A total of 250 chronic ischemic stroke patients were interviewed at 4 hospitals. Structured open and closed questions about SCT for chronic stroke were asked by trained interviewers using the conventional in-person method. In addition, 250 stroke-related physicians were randomly interviewed via an e-mail questionnaire.
Results: Of the 250 patients (mean 63 years, 70% male), 121 (46%) responded that they wanted to receive SCT in spite of its unknown side effects. Around 60% of the patients anticipated physical, emotional, and psychological improvement after SCT, and 158 (63%) believed that SCT might prevent strokes. However, physicians had much lower expectations about the effectiveness of SCTs, which was not in line with patient expectations. Multivariate analysis revealed that male gender (OR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.10-3.64), longer disease duration (OR: 1.01, 95% CI:1.00-1.02), higher modified Rankin Scale score (OR: 1.30, 95% CI 1.06-1.60), and familiarity with stem cells (OR: 1.86, 95% CI: 1.10-3.15) were independently associated with wanting SCT. The major source of information about SCT was television (68%), and the most reliable source was physicians (49%).
Conclusion: Patients have unfounded expectations that SCT will improve their functioning. Considering our finding that the major source of information on stem cells is media channels but not the physician, to decrease patients’ inappropriate exposure, doctors should make more effort to educate patients using mass media with accurate information.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.