Knowledge of Ischemic Stroke Risk Factors and Warning Signs After a Health Education Program by Medical Students
Background and Purpose—A delay in recognizing early warning signs (WS) and risk factors (RF) of ischemic stroke causes a delay in treatment. We evaluated knowledge of RF and WS and the impact of an educational program by medical students.
Methods—We first surveyed individuals to determine knowledge of WS and RF. Then, after a 6-month education program, knowledge was reassessed. The questionnaire included sociodemographic and comorbidity data. A χ2 and Mann-Whitney U test, as well as a multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine variables associated with knowledge, were used.
Results—We performed 329 baseline and 355 posteducation surveys. Initially, 57.1% mentioned at least 1 RF; this later increased to 65.9%. Mentions of obesity, dyslipidemias, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus increased significantly. With regard to WS, 37.6% mentioned at least 1, which increased to 48.1% who mentioned weakness in 1 limb, in half the body, severe headache, and altered vision. Educational level (OR, 2.53; 95% CI, 1.42–4.53; P=0.001), employment (OR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.08–2.74; P=0.021), a family history of brain infarction (OR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.35–4.11; P=0.02), obesity (OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.026–2.6; P=0.038), and having received information in the last 6 months (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.51–4.83; P=0.001) were associated with a better understanding of RF and WS.
Conclusions—The educational program was cost-effective and had a positive impact on knowledge of RF and WS of ischemic stroke. More education programs are required to improve knowledge of ischemic stroke.
- Received July 16, 2010.
- Accepted November 10, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.