Effectiveness of an Intervention to Improve Risk Factor Knowledge in Patients With Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

Despite the benefit of risk awareness in secondary prevention, survivors of stroke are often unaware of their risk factors. We determined whether a nurse-led intervention improved knowledge of risk factors in people with stroke or transient ischemic attack.

Methods—

Prospective study nested within a randomized controlled trial of risk factor management in survivors of stroke or transient ischemic attack. Intervention: 3 nurse education visits and specialist review of care plans. Outcome: unprompted knowledge of risk factors of stroke or transient ischemic attack at 24 months. Effect of intervention on knowledge and factors associated with knowledge were determined using multivariable regression models.

Results—

Knowledge was assessed in 268 consecutive participants from the main trial, 128 in usual care and 140 in the intervention. Overall, 34% of participants were unable to name any risk factor. In adjusted analyses, the intervention group had better overall knowledge than controls (incidence risk ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.00–1.58). Greater functional ability and polypharmacy were associated with better knowledge and older age and having more comorbidities associated with poorer knowledge.

Conclusions—

Overall knowledge of risk factors of stroke or transient ischemic attack was better in the intervention group than controls. However, knowledge was generally poor. New and more effective strategies are required, especially in subgroups identified as having poor knowledge.

Clinical Trial Registration—

URL: http://www.anzctr.org.au. Unique identifier: ACTRN12608000166370.

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