Background: We describe the design and baseline data of an educational intervention targeting predominantly Mexican American middle school students and their parents in an effort to improve stroke awareness. Increasing awareness in this group may increase the number of patients eligible for acute stroke treatment by encouraging emergency medical services (EMS) activation.
Methods: This is a prospective, randomized study in which six middle schools were randomly assigned to receive a stroke education program or the standard health class. Primary outcome measures are the percentage of students and parents who recognize stroke symptoms and express the intent to activate EMS upon recognition of these findings.
Results: A total of 547 students (271 control, 276 intervention) and 484 parents (231 control, 253 intervention) have been enrolled. Pretests were administered. The intervention has been successfully carried out in the parent and student cohorts over a three-year period. Posttests and persistence test results are pending.
Conclusion: Implementing a school-based stroke education initiative is feasible. Followup testing will demonstrate whether this educational initiative translates into a measurable and persistent improvement in stroke knowledge and behavioral intent to activate EMS upon recognition of stroke symptoms.