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Background: Stroke is an important worldwide public health problem. Lack of knowledge in prevention methods, warning symptoms and planned response of acute stroke are associated with a longer prehospital time, which affect the morbidity and mortality of patients.
Objective: The primary objective was to assess knowledge of stroke prevention methods and warning symptoms among patients living with diabetes and/or hypertension. The secondary objectives were to define planned responses when suspecting acute stroke, and identify associated factors with stroke knowledge scores and planned responses.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in patients living with diabetes and/or hypertension, who had continuous follow up at the primary care unit of Songklanagarind Hospital. The outcomes of this study were assessed by a questionnaire, which was developed from a literature review.
Results: This study included 312 participants. Median age was 64.0 years (Q1, Q3 = 58.0, 71.0), and 59.6% were female. Median score of knowledge of stroke prevention methods were 9, from 12 points (Q1, Q3 = 8, 10), and warning symptoms were 7, from 10 points (Q1, Q3 = 6, 8); with 80.1% of them knowing all 3 warning symptoms, according to the acronym FAST. Only 22.8% of participants would go to the hospital immediately, by calling an ambulance when they experienced symptoms of a suspected acute stroke. Participants who had income had statistically significant higher knowledge of stroke prevention methods; while participants under 60 years of age, who had a longer duration of diagnosed diabetes mellitus were associated with appropriate planned responses when suspecting acute stroke.
Conclusion: Patients living with diabetes mellitus and hypertension, who are at a high risk for developing cardiovascular diseases, still do not have enough knowledge about acute stroke and had little concern about developing a stroke; especially the elderly and those with a short duration of having been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.
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