Abstract WP349: Effectiveness of Rural Community Stroke Screenings on Identification and Physician Follow up for Stroke Risk Factors
Success of community stroke screenings in increasing awareness of stroke signs and symptoms in participants is well documented. There is little evidence-based literature regarding the effectiveness of this methodology in eliciting healthcare interventions for stroke risk factors identified in individual participants. A quality assurance initiative was started in our 180 bed rural hospital serving Northwest Pennsylvania, to monitor the effectiveness of community stroke screenings. We hypothesized that stroke risk factors identified in community stroke screenings would be addressed by healthcare interventions through the primary care physician (PCP). We used a sample population of 276 participants, representing all those participating in screenings provided by our hospital during Nov.-Dec. 2011. There were 61 participants with identified stroke risk factors who were directed to contact their PCP. Of these, 56 were contacted by telephone and interviewed regarding their follow-up on the identified risk factors using a standardized script. A written release form allowing contact with their PCP regarding treatment interventions was obtained and a standardized questionnaire was mailed to the physicians. Results from the participant interviews showed that 49 (87%) recalled the stroke nurse emphasizing the importance of follow- up for the identified risk factors with their PCP, and 42 (75%) had followed up with their PCP. Treatment had been initiated or modified in 22 (52%). Of the 14 who had not followed up with their PCP, 6 (46%) indicated that the follow-up interview prompted them to make an appointment. Only 15 physician questionnaires were returned; 14 (93%) of these participants followed up for risk factors identified and 11 (79%) received treatment. In conclusion, community stroke screening and education can effectively influence care for identified risk factors, but this is dependent on participant follow-up with their PCP. Our goal is to continue offering community stroke screenings in a rural setting with limited healthcare resources and monitor participant and PCP follow- up in an effort to reduce stroke risk factors.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.