Stroke Knowledge Needed

Article by Anna Schoenbach

Doctor and older patient talkingAfter conducting a survey, researchers at the University Medical Centre in Hamburg, Germany were surprised to find just how little people know about strokes.

Even people who were stroke patients themselves did not know much about their conditions – their knowledge of the warning signs, risk factors, prevention and treatment of strokes was low, even compared to people out on the street.

The new research study, published in August 2016, involved over 500 completed surveys from patients at the clinic and from pedestrians on the Hamburg streets. Questions were asked about stroke symptoms, risks, causes, treatments, and the role of doctors and patients in making medical decisions. The survey also asked people to rate their own knowledge about strokes.

Most people rated themselves as highly knowledgeable about stroke. However, what was concerning was the difference between what they thought they knew and what they actually knew: less than 50% of the participants (patient or not) answered the survey questions about risk factors and blood pressure correctly. Knowledge of stroke prevention, both primary and secondary, was also lacking, with only 10-15% of the participants correctly estimating aspirin’s preventive benefits.

This lack of stroke knowledge is concerning. Knowledge about their health has been shown to enable patients to make informed decisions and to empower them to maintain lifesaving medical regimens. In turn, low knowledge can cost lives.

The researchers concluded that greater effort must be made to educate the public and to reduce gaps in knowledge

Study can be found Here