Abstract T P251: Factors for Delayed Medical Care Seeking among Elderly Stroke Patients in Korea
Background: Stroke is the second leading cause of death in Korea and the prevalence of acute ischemic stroke among older adults continues to grow, which is known to be related to delayed hospital arrival after the onset of symptoms. Thus, decreasing the incidence of elderly stroke is a major health promotion objective in Korea, yet little is reported about the factors associated with the delayed medical care seeking behavior among elderly stroke patients in Korea.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to understand factors of delayed medical care seeking among elderly stroke patients in order to develop intervention strategies to improve the health of this population.
Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted in a convenience sample of 233 hospitalized elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke using a self-administered survey. Descriptive statistics and chi-square test were used for data analysis.
Results: More than half of them were male (60.5%) with age of 61 and older (76.9%), and relied on the opinion of their children or friends when deciding medical care for stroke (58.3%). Regarding the reasons of seeking medical care, there was no statistical significance between individuals who arrived at a hospital within three hours of the onset of symptoms and who arrived after three hours. Reasons for delayed hospital arrival were significantly different between groups (individuals of hospital arrival within three hours vs. individuals with hospital arrival after three hours), which include lack of knowledge about the severity of stroke and unawareness of symptoms (χ2 = 24.1), or inconvenience of a hospital visit, waiting for the effects of alternative medications, and stroke during sleep (χ2 = 55.1) with p <0.001.
Conclusions: In conclusion, this study helped identify factors delaying hospital arrival after the onset of symptoms among Korean elderly stroke patients. Interventions should include stroke education focusing on the severity of stroke and related symptoms. The stroke education should target not only elderly stroke patients but their family members and friends. It may result in overall national health by decreasing prevalence of stroke among Korean elderly population.
Author Disclosures: J. sim: None. D. Ahn: None. C. shin: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.