Koenig KL, Whyte EM, Munin MC, O'Donnell L, Skidmore ER, Penrod LE, Lenze EJ. Stroke-related knowledge and health behaviors among poststroke patients in inpatient rehabilitation. Objective: To measure stroke knowledge and prestroke personal health behaviors of stroke patients undergoing inpatient rehabilitation and their caregivers. Design: Prospective cohort. Setting: Academic rehabilitation hospital. Participants: A total of 130 stroke patients and 85 caregivers interviewed after ischemic stroke. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure: The Stroke Education Assessment measured stroke knowledge and prestroke personal health behaviors. Results: Large deficiencies in patient and caregiver stroke knowledge were found. Fifty-two percent of patients could not name any stroke risk factors, 52% were unable to name a stroke warning sign, and 35% were unable to identify appropriate actions to take in a stroke emergency. Older patients were less knowledgeable than younger patients. Caregivers were more knowledgeable than patients. Regarding prestroke personal health behaviors, 28% of patients reported medication nonadherence, 26% did not see their primary care physician in the preceding year, and less than 40% of patients with diabetes or hypertension reported diets consistent with these diagnoses. Conclusions: Stroke patients participating in inpatient rehabilitation and their caregivers have large gaps in stroke knowledge and have suboptimal personal health behaviors, thereby putting patients at high risk for recurrent stroke. Our finding highlights the need to develop stroke-education programs for rehabilitating patients that are effective in closing these gaps in knowledge and personal health behaviors.
- Cerebrovascular accident