Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47997. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047997. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

A cross-sectional study of individuals seeking information on transient ischemic attack and stroke symptoms online: a target for intervention?

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. akim@ucsf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Individuals with TIA/stroke symptoms often do not seek urgent medical attention. We assessed the feasibility of identifying individuals searching for information on TIA/stroke symptoms online as a target for future interventions to encourage urgent evaluation and we evaluated the performance of a self-reported risk score to identify subjects with true TIA or stroke.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We placed online advertisements to target English-speaking adults in the United States searching for TIA/stroke-related keywords. After completing an online questionnaire, participants were telephoned by a vascular neurologist to assess the likelihood of TIA/stroke. We used logistic regression and the c-statistic to assess associations and model discrimination respectively. Over 122 days, 251 (1%) of 25,292 website visitors completed the online questionnaire and 175 were reached by telephone (mean age 58.5 years; 63% women) for follow-up. Of these participants, 37 (21%) had symptoms within 24 hours, 60 (34%) had not had a medical evaluation yet, and 68 (39%) had TIA/stroke. Applying a modified ABCD(2) score yielded a c-statistic of 0.66, but 2 of 12 with a zero score had a TIA/stroke. Those with new symptoms were more likely to have TIA/stroke (OR 4.90, 95% CI 2.56-9.09).

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Individuals with TIA/stroke that are seeking real-time information on symptoms online can be readily identified, in some cases before they have sought formal medical evaluation. Although a simple self-reported risk score was unable to identify a low-risk population in this selected group, this population may still present an attractive target for future interventions designed to encourage urgent medical evaluation.

PMID:
23118919
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3485263
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk