Introduction: Recent studies reveal deficiencies in educating women about stroke. The vast majority of stroke education is presented as gender neutral or with a male bias. This study examined if a computer-based, gender-specific education program (HER-Stroke) increased women’s awareness of stroke signs and symptoms.
Methods: This 2-phase prospective study with 2-week follow-up examined gender-specific education based on Knowles’ Theory, enrolled 225 women with at least one stroke risk factor from any inpatient setting or neurology outpatient setting. Phase I, 75 women received standard stroke education (Group A). Phase II, 150 women randomized to standard (Group B) vs HER-Stroke education (Group C). Knowledge is scored as the percent of questions answered correctly; confidence is the percent of questions attempted; and accuracy is percent correct of those attempted.
Results: Mean age was similar for Group A, B, C (54.4, 57.9, 52.5 years) respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in mean knowledge scores comparing groups A B and C: (69.4%, 71.6%, 69.0%; p=0.67), mean confidence scores for groups A, B, and C respectively (80.8%, 83.2%, 80.2%; p=0.77), or mean accuracy scores for group A B and C (86.2%, 85.6%, 85.0%; p=0.75). Regression analysis revealed that older age was associated with lower knowledge scores (p<.001) and lower confidence scores (p<.001). After controlling for age, the intervention was associated with a statistically significant difference in knowledge and confidence (p<.001).
Conclusions: Enhanced efficacy among younger participants may reflect experience and comfort using technology. While the intervention was not associated with a change in overall scores, after controlling for age there was a statistically significant difference among groups. Further research including unmeasured covariates is needed to explore optimal stroke education formats for older learners.