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Do Clinical Rehabilitation Education Programs Really Improve Stroke-Related Knowledge?

Skidmore, Elizabeth R. PhD, OTR/L; Koenig, Kris L. MBA; Munin, Michael C. MD; Whyte, Ellen M. MD; O’Donnell, Lynn RN, CRRN; Penrod, Louis MD; Lenze, Eric J. MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: August 2008 - Volume 87 - Issue 8 - p 637-641
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31816ddf2f
Original Research Article: Stroke

Skidmore ER, Koenig KL, Munin MC, Whyte EM, O’Donnell L, Penrod L, Lenze EJ: Do clinical rehabilitation education programs really improve stroke-related knowledge? Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2008;87:637–641.

Objective: We evaluated the effectiveness of a clinical stroke education program for improving stroke-related health knowledge after inpatient rehabilitation in a “real world” setting.

Design: Thirty-four patients participated in an inpatient rehabilitation clinical stroke education program. Their stroke-related health knowledge in three key domains—risk factors, warning signs, and appropriate actions to take if a stroke is suspected—was evaluated at admission and 12 wks later using a single-group, pretest–posttest design. Pretest and posttest comparisons were conducted using the Marginal Homogeneity test and the McNemar test.

Results: Small, nonsignificant improvements in stroke-related health knowledge were detected at posttest. Twelve weeks after the education program, 29% of participants were unable to name a single risk factor, 32% were unable to name a single warning sign, and 29% were unable to name appropriate emergency action in the event they suspected a stroke.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of patients who completed our clinical stroke education program continued to have poor stroke-related health knowledge. We noted several limitations in our program that may have contributed to this outcome. Changes may be useful for improving the success of clinical stroke education programs, thereby reducing knowledge deficits.

From the Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (ERS); Departments of Psychiatry (KLK, EMW, EJL) and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (MCM, LP, EJL), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (LO).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Elizabeth R. Skidmore, PhD, OTR/L, 5012 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.

The research was funded by the NIMH and investigator-initiated grants from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. The sponsors had no role in study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, or writing/submission of this or other reports. Dr. Lenze has received grant/research support from Forest, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Munin has received grant/research support from Allergan. Ms. Koenig, Drs. Whyte, Munin, and Lenze have received consulting fees from Fox Learning Systems, Inc.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.