Main Article Content
Inadequate knowledge of warning symptoms and risk factors of stroke is associated with significant pre-hospital and treatment delays. This study aims to assess the awareness of warning symptoms and risk factors of stroke amongst Singaporeans and permanent residents, and to identify factors associated with awareness.
Materials and Methods
A cross-sectional study was done in a local public housing estate. Through multi-stage random sampling, 1522 household units were selected for a face-to-face, open-ended questionnaire interview, which was conducted by trained interviewers. Information collected included knowledge of stroke warning symptoms and risk factors, together with hypothetical scenarios to assess participants’ responses. Socio-demographic information, participant reports of health-related behaviours, and personal and family history of stroke risk-conferring conditions were obtained.
52.4% of participants were unable to identify any key warning symptoms of stroke, with up to 12.4% of participants citing symptoms more closely associated with an acute myocardial infarction. 60.4% were unable to identify ≥ 2 risk factors for stroke. 4 out of 10 participants were unable to provide the correct number to dial for an emergency ambulance in Singapore. No increased level of awareness was noted amongst participants with stroke risk-conferring medical conditions, nor among the elderly.
ConclusionThere was a general lack of awareness of stroke. Participants at a higher risk of stroke were ill-informed about the condition. Broad-based educational efforts targeted at the general population to improve awareness of stroke symptoms are needed. In addition, education should be aimed at individuals with greater stroke risk.
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