A randomized, controlled trial to teach middle school children to recognize stroke and call 911: the kids identifying and defeating stroke project

Stroke. 2007 Nov;38(11):2972-8. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.107.490078. Epub 2007 Sep 20.


Background and purpose: Underutilization of acute stroke therapy is driven by delay to hospital arrival. We present the primary results of a pilot, randomized, controlled trial to encourage calling 911 for witnessed stroke among middle school children and their parents.

Methods: This project occurred in Corpus Christi, an urban Texas community of 325,000. Three intervention and 3 control schools were randomly selected. The intervention contained 12 hours of classroom instruction divided among sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Parents were educated indirectly through homework assignments. Two-sample t tests were used to compare pretest and posttest responses.

Results: Domain 1 test questions involved stroke pathophysiology. Intervention students improved from 29% to 34% correct; control students changed from 28% to 25%. Domain 2 test questions involved stroke symptom knowledge. Intervention school students changed from 28% correct to 43%; control school students answered 25% correctly on the pretest and 29% on the posttest. Domain 3 test questions involved what to do for witnessed stroke. Intervention school students answered 36% of questions correctly on the pretest and 54% correctly on the posttest, whereas control students changed from 32% correct to 34%. A comparison of change in the mean proportion correct over time between intervention and control students was P<0.001 for each of the 3 individual domains. A poor parental response rate impaired the ability to assess parental improvement.

Conclusions: A scientific, theory-based, educational intervention can potentially improve intent to call 911 for stroke among middle school children. A different mechanism is needed to effectively diffuse the curriculum to parents.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulances / standards
  • Caregivers / education*
  • Child
  • Curriculum / standards
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / education
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Schools / standards
  • Schools / trends*
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Texas