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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2013 Aug;115(8):1457-63. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2013.01.026. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Knowledge of TIA among general practitioners and emergency department physicians. A questionnaire survey in a French semi-rural area.

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Service de Neurologie, Centre Hospitalier de Lannion, Hôpital Pierre Le Damany, Lannion, France.



Management of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) is of vital importance in an attempt to prevent stroke. However, suboptimal management still raise concern among general practitioners (GPs) and emergency department (ED) physicians-the first medical contact of most TIA patients. This may relate to their poorly updated knowledge about TIA. The study was designed to assess knowledge of TIA among these non-neurologists.


The study was a post-mailed questionnaire survey among GPs and ED physicians. The questionnaire related to selective clinical aspects on TIA.


There were a total of 85 respondents for analysis, mostly GPs (n=64; 75.3%), out of 177 mailed physicians. Response rate was 52.7%. Many of these respondents were unaware of the newly proposed TIA definition (59%), unfamiliar with TIA mimics and predictors of post-TIA early stroke recurrence and therefore with the rationales underlying the need of emergency management of TIA. More than one third (39%) were unaware of the relevant national guidelines. Guidelines-aware respondents performed better in most part of the mailed questionnaire.


Our results show that poorly updated knowledge about TIA among non-neurologists represents a potential contributing factor to the persisting sub-optimal management of the disorder. Although further studies are needed to confirm this, improved continuous medical education of this group of health care professionals appears warranted.


Emergency department physicians; General practitioners; Knowledge; Management; Non neurologists; Stroke; Transient ischemic attack

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