Background: African American women exhibit low stroke awareness in national surveys. Public education materials may not provide meaningful representations of stroke symptoms for African American women. Videos with actors portraying stroke onset may hold promise for improving stroke symptom awareness.
Purpose: A pilot study tested efficacy of Sisters Against Stroke (SAS) online intervention to improve identification of stroke symptoms and appropriate action in response to suspected stroke, and to estimate effect sizes for a larger study.
Methods: A quasi-experimental nonequivalent comparison group design was used to randomize 44 women to the SAS intervention group (n =23) or wait-list comparison group (n = 21). Data were analyzed with Friedman and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank tests to examine the effect of SAS immediately after the intervention (time 2) and one month later (time 3) on (1) perceived self-efficacy to recognize stroke symptoms; (2) perceived self-efficacy for correct action in response to symptoms; (3) ability to name American Stroke Association (ASA) FAST stroke symptoms; (4) ability to identify stroke symptoms presented in written vignettes; and (5) ability to identify appropriate action in response to stroke symptoms presented in written vignettes. Effect size estimates were calculated by converting z scores to r.
Results: The SAS group showed improvement in perceived self-efficacy for correct action in response to stroke at time 2 (Z = -3.090, p = .002, r = -.46) and time 3 (Z = -3.34, p = .001, r = -.49); ability to identify stroke symptoms presented in written vignettes at time 2 (ζ = -2.95, p = .003, r = -.43) and time 3 (ζ = -3.381, p = .001, r = -.50); and ability to identify correct action in response to symptoms presented in written vignettes at time 2 (ζ = -2.179, p = .03, r = -.32) and time 3 (ζ = -3.018, p = .003, r = -.44). No improvement was found in ability to name ASA FAST symptoms or perceived self-efficacy to recognize stroke symptoms.
Conclusions: An online stroke awareness intervention incorporating videos of actors portraying stroke onset showed efficacy to improve stroke awareness among African American women. Testing in a randomized clinical trial is warranted.