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Knowledge of transient ischemic attack among the Japanese.

Akiyama H, et al. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2013.

Abstract

Stroke is often preceded by a transient ischemic attack (TIA). To properly recognize TIA and take prompt initial action, all citizens should be fully educated about TIA. Our objective is to evaluate how much knowledge of TIA has spread among Japanese citizens. As a preliminary study with this goal, we conducted an Internet-based questionnaire survey of 30,000 Japanese citizens aged 20 years or more, excluding health care professionals, from across Japan to investigate their awareness and knowledge of stroke and TIA. Valid responses were obtained from 11,121 Japanese citizens, aged 44.8 ± 13.1 (mean ± SD) years. The most frequent response pertaining to initial action at TIA onset was "visit the family doctor" (41.8%), followed by "immediately call an ambulance" (22.4%). Tokushima, Kagawa, and Kumamoto were the top 3 prefectures with the highest ambulance request rates. Factors contributing to immediately calling an ambulance were respondents' confidence about the involvement of stroke (odds ratio [OR] 2.290, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.250-4.318, P = .009) and knowledge of the importance of initiating treatment within 3 hours of symptom onset (OR 2.273, 95% CI 1.923-2.825, P = .000). Although television was the primary source of information about stroke for all groups of age, older respondents obtained more information from newspapers than younger respondents. The results showed that many Japanese citizens would fail to call an ambulance in response to TIA, and diagnosis by a primary care physician appears to be the main triage system for the treatment of TIA. Rather than instituting a nationally uniform strategy of education for the promotion of TIA awareness among Japanese citizens, education programs should account for age-specific and regional differences among citizens.

PMID

23642755 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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