Stroke Knowledge among Various Suburban Communities in Northeastern Thailand

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Chananya Jirapornkul
Naowarat Tungsrithong
Rachanon Nguanjairak
Lertchai Charerntanyarak
Karnchanasri Singhpoo
Peter Bradshaw
Somsak Tiamkao

Abstract

Stroke is a serious and increasing problem in Thailand. The aims of this study were to assess knowledge of stroke in a Thai population and to identify factors associated with lack of knowledge in two topics where this was weakest. The participants in this cross-sectional study were 781 residents of Northeastern Thailand over 18 years of age. Interview data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression.


Although knowledge about stroke risk factors was generally high, only 57.9% knew that hypertension was a risk. Most (66%) could correctly recognise all the listed stroke symptoms, but only 31.4 % knew that the first reaction to stroke symptoms should be dialling the medical emergency number. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the variables associated with unawareness that hypertension is a stroke risk factor were education to high school level or above, a history of hypercholesterolemia and no family history of stroke. The factors associated with disagreement that the immediate response to a stroke event should be to ring the medical emergency number were age and occupation.


Knowledge of stroke symptoms was surprisingly high, but this should be confirmed in other Thai populations.  Systems for identifying hypertension need to be more widely used and accompanied by explicit information about stroke risk.   Locally, further research is needed about the reasons for not immediately contacting the emergency service.  The benefits of calling the service should be a major focus of any new public information campaign.

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Author Biographies

Chananya Jirapornkul, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University

Naowarat Tungsrithong, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University

Rachanon Nguanjairak, Faculty of Public Health, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

Community Public Health Program, Faculty of Public Health, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University

Lertchai Charerntanyarak, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University

Karnchanasri Singhpoo, Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Community Medicine Service Section, Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University

Peter Bradshaw, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University

Somsak Tiamkao, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thaialnd

Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon KaenUniversity