Community-Based Participatory Research: A New Approach to Engaging Community Members to Rapidly Call 911 for Stroke

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Background and Purpose—Acute stroke treatments are underutilized primarily because of delayed hospital arrival. Using a community-based participatory research approach, we explored stroke self-efficacy, knowledge, and perceptions of stroke among a predominately African American population in Flint, Michigan.Methods—In March 2010, a survey was administered to youth and adults after religious services at 3 churches and during 1 church health day. The survey consisted of vignettes (12 stroke, 4 nonstroke) to assess knowledge of stroke warning signs and behavioral intent to call 911. The survey also assessed stroke self-efficacy, personal knowledge of someone who had experienced a stroke, personal history of stroke, and barriers to calling 911. Linear regression models explored the association of stroke self-efficacy with behavioral intent to call 911 among adults.Results—Two hundred forty-two adults and 90 youths completed the survey. Ninety-two percent of adults and 90% of youth respondents were African American. Responding to 12 stroke vignettes, adults would call 911 in 72% (SD, 0.26) of the vignettes, whereas youths would call 911 in 54% of vignettes (SD, 0.29; P<0.001). Adults correctly identified stroke in 51% (SD, 0.32) of the stroke vignettes and youth correctly identified stroke in 46% (SD, 0.28) of the stroke vignettes (P=0.28). Stroke self-efficacy predicted behavioral intent to call 911 (P=0.046).Conclusions—In addition to knowledge of stroke warning signs, behavioral interventions to increase both stroke self-efficacy and behavioral intent may be useful for helping people make appropriate 911 calls for stroke. A community-based participatory research approach may be effective in reducing stroke disparities.

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