Riechel C, Alegiani AC, Köpke S, Kasper J, Rosenkranz M, Thomalla G, Heesen C

BACKGROUND: Risk knowledge and active role preferences are important for patient involvement in treatment decision-making and adherence. Although knowledge about stroke warning signs and risk factors has received considerable attention, objective knowledge on secondary prevention and further self-esteem subjective knowledge have rarely been studied. The aim of our study was to investigate knowledge and treatment decisional role preferences in cerebrovascular patients compared to controls. METHODS: We performed a survey on subjective and objective stroke risk knowledge and autonomy preferences in cerebrovascular patients from our stroke outpatient clinic (n=262) and from pedestrians on the street taken as controls during a „World Stroke Day“ (n=274). The questionnaire includes measures for knowledge and decisional role preferences from previously published questionnaires and newly developed measures, for example, subjective knowledge, revealed on a visual analog scale. RESULTS: The overall stroke knowledge was low to moderate, with no differences between patients and controls. Knowledge about secondary prevention was particularly low. Only 10%-15% of participants correctly estimated the stroke absolute risk reduction potential of aspirin. The medical data interpretation competence was moderate in both groups. Age and basic mathematical and statistical understanding (numeracy) were the only independent predictors of objective stroke knowledge, whereas previous stroke had no impact on stroke knowledge. However, patients were thought to be better informed than controls. Approximately 60% of both patients and controls claimed to prefer a shared decision-making approach in treatment decisions. CONCLUSION: The level of stroke risk knowledge in patients with cerebrovascular diseases was as low as in randomly selected pedestrians, although patients felt better informed. Both groups preferred involvement in treatment decision-making. We conclude that educational concepts for increasing awareness of knowledge gaps as well as for stroke risk and for prevention strategies are needed.

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2016 Aug 2;10:1453-60

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