U.K. campaign hasn't aided patient presentations for TIA, minor CVA

July 5, 2018

(HealthDay)—The Face, Arm, Speech, Time (FAST) public education campaign in the United Kingdom has not improved the response to transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor stroke, according to a study published online July 2 in JAMA Neurology.

Frank J. Wolters, M.D., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a prospective population-based study of all patients with TIA or who sought medical attention between April 1, 2002, and March 31, 2014, registered at nine general practices.

The researchers found that of 2,243 patients with first TIA or stroke, 73.8 percent had a minor stroke or TIA. After the FAST campaign, patients with major stroke more often sought medical attention within three hours (odds ratio, 2.56; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.11 to 5.9). There was no improvement in use of emergency medical services (odds ratio, 0.79; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.5 to 1.23) or in time to first seeking within 24 hours (odds ratio, 0.75; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.48 to 1.19) for TIA or minor stroke. There was a correlation for patient perception of symptoms after TIA and minor stroke with more urgent behaviors; however, after the FAST campaign, correct perception declined from 37.3 to 27.6 percent (odds ratio, 0.64; 95 percent interval, 0.51 to 0.8).

"This study suggests that in contrast to major stroke, extensive FAST-based public education has not improved the response to TIA and in the United Kingdom," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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