Artmann A, Rahn AC, Köpke S, Thomalla G, Heesen C, Alegiani AC.

Objectives: The probability of recurring strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation is high. Within 1.8 years, 6.6 % of the patients suffered a new stroke. While effective secondary prevention options exist, low adherence challenges effective medical treatment. The aim of our study was to examine the risk understanding of acute stroke patients and to find the best way to communicate risk reduction. Materials and methods: Risk communication had three formats: a text, a pictogram, and a cube diagram. All three were developed on the basis of the criteria of evidence-based patient information. Patients who were admitted to the stroke unit and diagnosed with acute stroke, assessed the information material. Data on secondary prevention using acetylsalicylic acid were taken as an example, with no reference to actual patient treatment. In a first step, we interviewed a focus group to check the feasibility of the questionnaire (qualitative study). In the second step, the information material was tested in a pilot randomized controlled trial. Results: Acute stroke patients (qualitative study, n=13) understood the information and were interested in numerical risk communication. The visualized representations were superior in terms of understandability of the numbers communicated (pilot randomized controlled trial, n=60, 50 % correct answers for question 1, p value of 0.502, and 55 % correct answers for question 2, p value of 0.338). Stroke-related neurologic deficits, measured with the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) on admission, revealed a significant influence on the number of correct answers to stroke risk questions, whereas the type of stroke and education did not. Conclusions: Acute stroke patients were able to understand risk communication. Visualization helped them capture information on stroke risk. 

Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2022 Apr;169:19-27

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