Background The premise of the "brain attack" concept is that early intervention may salvage ischemic neurons. Early intervention depends on adequate knowledge of stroke so that patients seek urgent medical attention. Objective: To assess knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs in an urban, predominantly black community. Methods: A 20-item questionnaire was administered to two patient groups. Group 1 had a diagnosis of first-ever stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Group 2 (controls) was without a history of cerebral ischemia. Results: Thirty patients in group 1 answered 57.5% of the questions correctly. Thirty patients in group 2 answered 63.1% of the questions correctly (P=.15). Patients showed misperceptions regarding the warning signs of a stroke and were unfamiliar, with the concept of a TIA. Conclusions: Although preliminary because of a limited sample size, the results from our urban medical center suggest that knowledge of stroke is deficient among high-risk individuals who developed cerebral or retinal ischemia. This would mean that opportunities for effective prevention and treatment of stroke are being missed in minority patients. Recruitment of patients for acute stroke trials will also face impediments in urban communities unless a massive educational effort is undertaken.
- Knowledge regarding stroke
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine