Optimizing public health strategies for stroke education: Need for a controlled trial

James M. Kerns, Diane Heidmann, Michael Petty, Shyam Prabhakaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This brief review examines certain strategies for increasing community awareness and recognition of the warning signs and symptoms of stroke. Attention should be given to the intended audience, especially at-risk groups. To enhance stroke literacy, a complete message should include the following 4 aspects: (1) a stroke is a serious medical problem that involves the blood supply to the brain, (2) all 5 approved warning signs and symptoms, (3) the many risk factors involved in stroke, and (4) the need to promptly call 911 for emergency services and treatment. Such knowledge could lead to improvement in the rapid arrival to an emergency room and promote optimal and timely medical treatment. With several educational paradigms and strategies in existence, we propose that more rigorous study of their comparative performance and utility is needed. In a preliminary survey, our own program, called "KNOW FIVE - STAY ALIVE," provided greater posttest knowledge compared with the "FAST" program and a National Institutes of Health brochure called "Know Stroke. Know the signs, Act in time."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • education
  • risk factors
  • signs/symptoms
  • stroke awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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