Stroke 112: A Universal Stroke Awareness Program to Reduce Language and Response Barriers

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

To improve stroke awareness and reduce life-threatening prehospital delays worldwide, a universal stroke educational program is needed. To meet this unmet need, we developed a universal program without language barriers and tested its acceptance in Taiwan, where Chinese is the native language.

Methods—

Stroke 112 was developed using the universal emergency phone number, 112. The numbers imply an emergency and correspond to the 3 stroke recognition signs used in FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, and Time): 1 uneven face (crooked mouth); 1 weak arm (arm weakness); 2 incoherent lips (slurred speech). An online survey was used to determine the acceptance of the Stroke 112 program compared with that of FAST in Chinese. The surveys were delivered using SurveyMonkey (http://www.surveymonkey.com) on 2 separate occasions in Taiwan; in August 2017 for an initial estimation of the acceptance of Stroke 112 and in March 2018, 2 weeks after the official release of Stroke 112 in Taiwan, including a special introductory lecture for neurologists hosted by the STARS-Taiwan (Stroke Treatment and Research Society-Taiwan).

Results—

The initial survey with 465 survey responders, 54.6% thought that Stroke 112 was easier to remember for people in Taiwan compared with FAST (41.2%). After Stroke 112’s official release in Taiwan, 610 individuals completed the survey, and the majority (66.4%) thought that Stroke 112 was easier to remember, a significant increase compared with the initial survey (P=0.0001). Among the 130 neurologists who attended the Stroke 112 introductory lecture, 55 completed the online survey. A greater acceptance of Stroke 112 (74.6%) compared with FAST (16.4%) was observed among these 55 neurologists (P=0.0001).

Conclusions—

Stroke 112, a universal stroke educational program without language barriers was developed. It could potentially be implemented worldwide, especially where 112 is used as an emergency phone number.

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