Patient knowledge on stroke risk factors, symptoms and treatment options

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Background: Public campaigns focus primarily on stroke symptom and risk factor knowledge, but patients who correctly recognize stroke symptoms do not necessarily know the reason for urgent hospitalization. The aim of this study was to explore knowledge on stroke risk factors, symptoms and treatment options among acute stroke and transient ischemic attack patients. Methods: This prospective study included patients admitted to the stroke unit at the Department of Neurology, Akershus University Hospital, Norway. Patients with previous cerebrovascular disease, patients receiving thrombolytic treatment and patients who were not able to answer the questions in the questionnaire were excluded. Patients were asked two closed-ended questions: “Do you believe that stroke is a serious disorder?” and “Do you believe that time is of importance for stroke treatment?”. In addition, patients were asked three open-ended questions where they were asked to list as many stroke risk factors, stroke symptoms and stroke treatment options as they could. Results: A total of 173 patients were included, of whom 158 (91.3%) confirmed that they regarded stroke as a serious disorder and 148 patients (85.5%) considered time being of importance. In all, 102 patients (59.0%) could not name any treatment option. Forty-one patients (23.7%) named one or more adequate treatment options, and they were younger (p<0.001) and had higher educational level (p<0.001), but had a nonsignificant shorter prehospital delay time (p=0.292). Conclusion: The level of stroke treatment knowledge in stroke patients seems to be poor. Public campaigns should probably also focus on information on treatment options, which may contribute to reduce prehospital delay and onset-to-treatment-time.




Faiz, K. W., Sundseth, A., Thommessen, B., & Rønning, O. M. (2018). Patient knowledge on stroke risk factors, symptoms and treatment options. Vascular Health and Risk Management, 14, 37–40.

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