Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Gender Differences in Stroke Recognition Among Stroke Survivors

Focht, Kendrea L.; Gogue, Alison M.; White, Brandi M.; Ellis, Charles

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: February 2014 - Volume 46 - Issue 1 - p 18–22
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000026
Article

ABSTRACT: Background: Studies suggest that gender differences exist in the recognition of stroke warning signs. Poor recognition of stroke warning signs has been attributed to negative treatment-seeking behaviors, which can result in poor outcomes. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine gender differences in the recognition of traditional early warning signs of stroke and first action to initiate treatment in a sample of stroke survivors. Methods: We collected survey data to examine recognition of traditional stroke warning signs and appropriate first action to initiate treatment along with demographic (age, stroke age, education, usual source of care, and insurance) and clinical (health literacy and stroke knowledge) variables. Results: Seventy-one stroke survivors participated in this pilot study. Women in the sample were significantly older than men at time of stroke (62 years old vs. 55 years old; p < .05). The two groups did not differ in clinical variables. Recognition of traditional individual stroke warning signs ranged from approximately 60% to 90%. There were no significant gender differences in the recognition of individual warning signs. Women were more likely to recognize all five traditional warning signs compared with men (67% vs. 42%; p = .04). Similarly, 58% of female participants recognized all five traditional stroke warning signs collectively and would call 9-1-1 as a first action compared with only 29% of men (p = .02). Conclusions: Although women recognized traditional stroke warning signs more often than men, educational programs should emphasize both traditional and nontraditional stroke warning signs among women and address these differences with their healthcare providers.

Kendrea L. Focht, CScD, is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Health Sciences & Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Alison M. Gogue, MS, is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Health Sciences & Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Brandi M. White, MPH, is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Health Sciences & Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Charles Ellis, PhD, at ellisc@musc.edu. He is an Associate Professor at the Department of Health Sciences & Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

This work was supported by a pilot grant to Dr. Ellis from the Medical University of South Carolina Center for Health Disparities Research.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses