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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2011 August;170(4):215-23


language: English

A cross sectional survey to determine the impact of educational level on awareness of stroke

Bener A. 1, 2, Kamran S. 3, Nadeem S. 4

1 Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Hamad General Hospital and Hamad Medical Corporation, Weill Cornell Medical College, Doha, Qatar 2 Department Evidence for Population Health Unit, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK 3 Department of Neurology, Hamad General Hospital and Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar 4 Department of Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Doha, Qatar


Aim. Stroke has been defined as clinical designation for a rapidly developing loss of brain function due to an interruption in the blood supply to all or part of the brain. To know the meaning of stroke symptoms and to perceive them as an emergency is a decisive factor in reducing delays in hospital admission. The aim of the study is to determine the level of knowledge of stroke and associated risk factors among the middle aged population of Qatar.
Methods. This was a prospective cross-sectional study, carried out in primary health care Centers (PHC) and included 1050 middle aged Qatari subjects randomly approached for the interview. A questionnaire was developed for this study which included items related to socio-demographic information (age, gender, marital status, education, occupation, and income), current health status, knowledge of stroke (recognition, risk factors, stroke prevention, family history of stroke, common source of knowledge). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify the variables that were independently associated with a better interpretation of stroke symptoms and emergency perception.
Results. 1050 subjects were approached for the interview, 767 agreed to participate; this gave a response rate of 73%. Of 767 subjects, 55.4% recognized the term stroke. Age group analysis shows that those who recognized the term stroke the majority were in the age group of <40. Awareness of the term stroke by the participants was seen mostly amongst those that were educated and the percentage increased with the level of education. The majority of the retired (16.5%), housewives (27.0%) and manual workers (12.9%) were not aware about stroke. However the clerical staff (39.5) and professional workers (11.5) were more likely to be aware. Our study shows that those with hypertension (25.1%), with diabetics (21.6%) and hypercholesteremia (25.1%) were not aware of the term stroke. The most commonly recognized symptoms was inability to move, followed by speech disorder, decreased sensation and then decreased vision. Furthermore, the majority of the individuals who recognized the term stroke had obtained information from doctors and nurses (79.1%).
Conclusion. This study highlights the need for a comprehensive health awareness program for the general population. The program should increase the awareness of the general public on the risk factors as well as recognizing the early signs and symptoms of stroke and accessing the health care services immediately.

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