Background: We have executed a man-to-man stroke education program for acute ischemic stroke patients during admission since 2012. The contents of the man-to-man stroke education includes warning signs of stroke, guidance for prompt actions after symptom onset, drug information, and exercise and nutrition behavior after discharge. We evaluated whether the man-to-man education given during admission is effective to improve follow-up rates after discharge for acute ischemic stroke patients.
Methods: We compared clinical data including modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at discharge and length of stay and follow-up data after discharge of 697 acute ischemic stroke patients (Male:Female=283:414, mean age±SD, 69.0±12.1 years) admitted in 2013, who received the man-to-man education during admission, with the data of 602 patients (M:F=254:348, 67.1±12.2 years) admitted in 2008, who did not receive the active education during admission.
To evaluate follow-up rates, we first checked the follow-up status of all included patients within 1, 4, 8, 12, 16 months after discharge. Then, follow-up rates at each time point were calculated as the ratio of the number of patients followed at the point to the all patients discharged in 2008 or 2013. Differences of the follow-up rates between 2008 and 2013 were compared at individual follow-up time points using one-sided x2-test.
Results: Even though the favorable outcome defined as 0-3 of mRS at discharge was similar between 2008 and 2013 (2008 vs. 2013, 88.3 vs. 87.4%, p=0.342), length of admission was significantly shorter in 2013 than 2008 (2008 vs. 2013, 10.2 vs. 6.6 days, p<0.001). On follow-up rates evaluations, follow-up at 1 month was significantly higher in 2013 (89.8%) than 2008 patients (83.7%) (p=0.001). The follow-up rates subsequently decreased at 4months (2008 vs. 2013, 77.3 vs. 81.5%, p=0.040), 8 months (70.1 vs. 74.3%, p=0.051), 12 months (63.1vs. 67.6%, p=0.052), and 16 months (57.6 vs. 63.0%, p=0.028). However, the follow-up rates of 2013 patients was consistently higher than 2008 ones.
Conclusion: The present data suggested that active education program for acute ischemic stroke patients could improve to follow-up rates of the patients after discharge.