Stroke Education to Reduce Adult Stroke Risk: An Evidence-Based Quality Initiative
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A stroke can have a devastating effect on a person’s health and life expectancy. Implementation of beneficial and relevant prevention strategies, such as reducing weight, increasing physical activity, and smoking cessation, have the potential to reduce the burden of stroke. The purpose of the quasi-experimental, single group study was to determine if evidence-based stroke education reduces primary stroke risk within a five-month period. Ten adults, 18 years and older who scored in the caution or high category of the National Stroke Association’s stroke risk scorecard were included in the study. Convenience sampling was conducted at a primary care clinic in Missouri. The intervention consisted of one-to-one participant education with evidence-based stroke education materials. Follow-up interviews and lifestyle data kept participants motivated to reduce stroke risk. The primary outcome expected was a reduction of stroke risk measured by the National Stroke Association’s stroke risk scorecard. Secondary outcomes included a greater knowledge base of stroke, measured by the National Institute of Health’s stroke knowledge survey, along with an increase in physical exercise, weight reduction, and smoking cessation. By using evidence-based stroke education, participants reduced their stroke risk by 30%. Secondary outcome results included 50% of participants partaking in exercise, 10% with smoking cessation, and 20% with a reduced body mass index. Stroke can cause grave physical and mental disability resulting in prolonged hospitalizations, long-term care, and economic losses. Through a review of evidence-based practice, reduced stroke risk can benefit society by reducing the health burden of stroke.
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