Date of Conferral





Public Health


James Rohrer


Stroke is associated with significant health disparity and predominantly affects the elderly. Stroke outcome is significantly improved if an individual is able to get "clot-bursting" medication. A significant predictor of an on-time arrival to the emergency room for treatment in the event of a stroke is the ability to accurately recognize stroke signs and symptoms. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors (demographic, socioeconomic, and educational) that predict the knowledge of stroke signs/symptoms and intent to call 911 in the event of a stroke. The study was grounded in the social ecological theoretical model and analyzed archived data from 11,537 African Americans to answer the research questions. Multivariable analysis and chi-square analysis for trend were done to determine the predictors of knowledge of stroke signs and symptoms, intent to call 911, and their respective trends. Results show that respondents who were 18-39 years of age were less likely to have a low to no knowledge (OR = 0.46, CI = 0.27 - 0.80), while those who had a high school (OR = 1.95, CI = 1.28 - 2.96) or less than high school (OR = 2.83, CI = 2.03 - 3.96) level of education were more likely to have low to no knowledge of stroke signs and symptoms. Further, while males were less likely (OR = 0.65, CI = 0.64 - 0.66), respondents age 40-64 years (OR = 1.87, CI = 1.14 - 3.09), and those with moderate to adequate knowledge of stroke (OR = 1.39, CI = 1.18 - 1.65), were more likely to say they intend to call 911 in the event of a stroke. This study may lead to policies to improve stroke knowledge among the elderly. Targeted stroke education based on age, education, and socioeconomic status should be a component of such policy. Additionally, this study may lead to the provision of sidewalks and health education programs to improve risk factor control and could thus impact stroke incidence.