Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States with 780,000 new and/or recurrent strokes each year. Interventions aimed at the onset of stroke symptoms have been successful in decreasing long-term neurological deficits; however, providing the prompt medical interventions in rural areas involves unique challenges. To decrease time-to-treatment in rural areas, education about symptoms of stroke and the need for immediate medical attention are critical. The objective of this study was to measure the effectiveness of the Facts for Action to Stroke Treatment (FAST)-based educational intervention program focused on the improving knowledge about stroke of 402 rural-dwelling adults. Using a paired means t test, the participants had a significant increase in knowledge from pretest to posttest (p = .000). Of those, 215 subjects participated in 2-month follow-up testing with the paired t test showing that the increased score from pretest to 2-month follow-up remained significant (p = .000). The authors concluded that the FAST-based program was an effective tool to use when teaching recognition of stroke symptoms and the need for immediate medical intervention to rural adults.
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