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Acta Neurológica Colombiana

versión impresa ISSN 0120-8748


DIAZ CABEZAS, Ricardo. Knowledge of symptoms and risk factors for stroke in caregivers. Acta Neurol Colomb. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.1, pp.12-19. ISSN 0120-8748.

Introduction: Despite the advances in the management of stroke, including the option of thrombolysis, few patients consult promptly for several reasons. Among these we can cite the lack of knowledge of onset symptoms and of the therapeutic options available. Objectives: To assess degree of knowledge about stroke among contacts of persons at risk of a cerebrovascular event. Materials and methods: A descriptive study was carried out in the city of Manizales, among caregivers of people over 60 years of age with hypertension and /or diabetes; in which they were interviewed in their homes. A form with questions about the spontaneous knowledge of symptoms and risk factors (RF), behavior to adopt towards stroke and TIA, and whether they knew of the existence of a thrombolytic drug. Results. 218 cohabiting caregivers were interviewed between 17 and 89 years of age (X 50,9 ± 15 years). 68,8% of the sample was female, 46,3% were offspring, 23,4% spouses and 13,7% cohabiting outside the family. 70,7% did not know any alarm symptom and 45,4% no RF. Hypertension was the most cited RF, followed by dyslipidemia and smoking, while the DM was the least remembered. 82,1% mentioned having obtained information about stroke nonmedical sources. Only 1,4% (n = 3) of respondents knew of a thrombolytic drug. Conclusion. This investigation identified significant flaws in the degree of knowledge that people have about cerebrovascular disease, and not from the condition of patients but cohabiting subjects at risk of a cerebrovascular event, being called to quickly recognize the symptoms and act diligently. It reiterates the urgent need to educate patients, their caregivers and the general public, using various information resources both health professionals and media messages to permit an effective primary and secondary prevention of stroke.

Palabras clave : Stroke epidemiology; stroke symptoms; risk factors for stroke; thrombolysis; caregivers.

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