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Stroke. 2005 May;36(5):1035-9. Epub 2005 Apr 7.

Development and validation of the stroke action test.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass 01655, USA.



Accurately assessing the public's readiness to respond to stroke is important. Most published measures are based on recall or recognition of stroke symptoms, or knowledge of the best action for stroke when the diagnosis is provided. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a new written instrument whose items require the respondent to associate individual symptoms with the most appropriate action.


The Stroke Action Test (STAT) contains 21 items that name or describe stroke symptoms from all 5 groups of warning signs and 7 items that are nonstroke symptoms. For each item, the respondent selects 1 of 4 options: call 911, call doctor, wait 1 hour, or wait 1 day. The instrument validation sample included 249 subjects from community-based organizations. Score reliability and validity were analyzed using multiple data and information sources.


The mean overall STAT score (all 28 items) for the lay people was 36.8%. On average, they chose call 911 for 34.1% of the stroke symptoms. They chose call doctor for 39.4% of the stroke symptoms, wait 1 hour for 20.1%, and wait 1 day for 6.0%. Score reliability is good (alpha=0.83). Evidence confirming score validity is presented based on analysis of item content and response patterns, and examination of the relationships between test scores and key variables related to stroke knowledge.


STAT directly assesses a critical aspect of practical stroke knowledge that has been largely overlooked and provides scores with good reliability and validity.

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