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Stroke. 2008 Jun;39(6):1844-9. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.499806. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Calling 911 in response to stroke: a nationwide study assessing definitive individual behavior.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Masaryk University, St. Anne University Hospital, Pekarska 53, 656 91, Brno, Czech Republic.



Stroke treatment is time-dependent, yet no study has systematically examined response to individual stroke symptoms in the general population. This nationwide study identifies which specific factors prompt correct response (calling 911) to stroke.


Between November and December of 2005, a survey using a 3-stage random-sampling method including area, household, and household member sampling was conducted throughout the Czech Republic. Participants >40 years old were personally interviewed via a structured and standardized questionnaire concerning general knowledge and correct response to stroke as assessed by the Stroke Action Test (STAT). Predictors of scoring >50% on STAT were identified by multiple regression.


A total of 650 households were contacted, yielding 592 interviews (response rate 91%). Mean age was 58+/-12, 55% women. Sixty-nine percent thought stroke was serious condition, and 57% thought it could be treated. Also 54% correctly named >/=2 risk factors, and 46% named >/=2 warning signs. Eighteen percent of respondents scored >50% on STAT. The predictors of such a score were age (for each 10-year increment, OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.7), secondary school education (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.6), knowing that stroke is a serious disease (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.1), and knowing that stroke is treatable (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2 to 3.2).


Knowledge about stroke in the Czech Republic was fair, yet response to warning signs was poor. Our study is the first to identify that calling 911 was influenced by knowledge that stroke is a serious and treatable disease and not by recognition of symptoms.

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