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FAST Stroke Prevention Educational Program for Middle School Students: Pilot Study Results

Miller, Elaine Tilka; King, Keith A.; Miller, Rosie; Kleindorfer, Dawn

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: August 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 4 - p 236–243

This pilot study evaluated the effects of FAST Stroke Prevention Educational Program for Middle School Students, a 2-month stroke prevention educational program targeted to middle school students. The FAST program focused on improving knowledge of stroke signs and symptoms; risk factors; treatment-seeking behaviors (call 911); overall attitude toward stroke, including perceived self-efficacy in identifying stroke warning signs and dealing with a stroke victim; stroke risk-reduction behaviors; and other risk factors for stroke, such as hypertension and diabetes. The FAST program evaluation consisted of a pretest, an educational intervention, immediate posttest, and a long-term posttest at 2 months. A convenience sample of 72 students with a mean age of 13.25 years was used. After obtaining school, parental, and student consent, the FAST program was implemented by the school nurse, health teachers, and research nurses. Results indicated significant increases in knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs and in attitudes of self-efficacy among middle school students that were sustained from pretest to long-term posttest; data supported the effectiveness of this novel intervention. Additional research using a variety of educational strategies and a longer time frame of intervention is recommended to further expand use of this program.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Elaine Tilka Miller, DNS RN CRRN FAHA FAAN, She is professor of nursing at the University of Cincinnati, College of Nursing, Cincinnati, OH.

Keith A. King, PhD CHES, is an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati, College of Education, Cincinnati, OH.

Rosie Miller, RN CCRC, is central coordinator of Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Dawn Kleindorfer, MD, is an assistant professor in the neurology department of the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

© 2007 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses