Background and Purpose-: An educational campaign by mass media has been associated with great increases in the knowledge about early symptoms of stroke. However, few studies were conducted with a controlled community intervention study. Methods-: To clarify the effects of a 1-year television campaign for the whole population on improvement of knowledge about stroke symptoms in 2 cities, a campaign area and a control area in Japan were selected. Before and after the campaign, 1960 randomly selected residents aged 40 to 74 years answered a telephone survey regarding knowledge of early stroke symptoms. We calculated the percentage and 95% CIs of participants who correctly chose all 5 early symptoms of stroke in each area and in each year. Results-: Before the campaign, 53% of participants (95% CI, 50%-55%) in the campaign area and 46% (95% CI, 44%-49%) in the control area correctly chose 5 early symptoms. After the 1-year television campaign, knowledge was significantly improved only in the campaign area (campaign area, 63%; 95% CI, 60%-66%; control area, 51%; 95% CI, 48%-54%). After sex stratification, only women showed improved knowledge of early symptoms. The audience rate for the campaign television programs was found to be higher in women than in men. Conclusions-: A 1-year stroke educational television campaign effectively improved knowledge about early stroke symptoms among Japanese women aged 40 to 74 years. No impact was found among men in this age group. Future studies should examine the impact of this approach on stroke knowledge among younger individuals and whether there are any behavioral changes that contribute to earlier presentation for treatment.
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