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Impact of a theory-informed and user-centered stroke information campaign on the public's behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge when facing acute stroke: a controlled before-and-after study

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Public awareness of stroke symptoms is a key factor to ensure access to reperfusion strategies in due time. We designed and launched a regional theory-informed and user-centered information campaign and assessed its impact on emergency medical services (EMS) calls for stroke suspicion, time-to-call, and public attitudes and awareness concerning stroke. METHODS: A controlled before-and-after study was conducted during 3 sequential time-periods in 2 separate counties. Key messages of the campaign were underpinned by stroke representations and the theory of planned behavior, and focused on recognition of stroke warning signs and the need to call EMS urgently. The campaign included posters, leaflets, adverts and films displayed in bus and subway stations, internet, social networks, and local radio. Outcome measures on behavior, attitudes, and knowledge were assessed before the launch of the campaign, at 3 months, and 12 months. RESULTS: The number of EMS calls for stroke suspicion increased by 21% at 12 months in the intervention county and this change was significantly different to that observed in the control county (p = 0.02). No significant changes were observed regarding self-reported attitudes in case of stroke. An 8% significant increase in recognizing at least 2 stroke warning signs was observed in the intervention county (p = 0.04) at 3 months, while it did not change significantly in the control county (p = 0.6). However, there was no significant difference in warning sign recognition between both counties (p = 0.16). CONCLUSION: The campaign significantly improved public's behavior of calling EMS, although stroke knowledge was not improved as much as expected. Repeating these campaigns over time might further help improve timeliness and access to reperfusion strategies. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trial Registration-URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT02846363 .
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 7:55:42 AM
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J. Haesebaert, C. Laude, A. Termoz, E. Bravant, N. Perreton, et al.. Impact of a theory-informed and user-centered stroke information campaign on the public's behaviors, attitudes, and knowledge when facing acute stroke: a controlled before-and-after study. BMC Public Health, BioMed Central, 2020, 20 (1), pp.1712. ⟨10.1186/s12889-020-09795-y⟩. ⟨inserm-03268233⟩

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