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Knowledge of stroke among female multipurpose health workers in India

Author: 
Rabbanie Tariq Wani, Hibba Dar, Junaid Ahmed Ahangar and Muhammad Salim Khan, S.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Public health is increasingly concerned with recognizing factors that lead to differences on the basis of profession & teaching practices in stroke. We conducted a study to determine the knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs, and how both are perceived, in a representative sample of female multipurpose health care workers (FMPHWs) in Kashmir valley Methods: A representative sample of the female healthcare workers of two districts of Kashmir division were selected using a double randomization technique. Data was collected by giving a structured questionnaire to the participants. Results: 202 subjects were interviewed (52.0 % from district Anantnag ; mean age (SD) 34.9 (6.1) years).Thirty two percent of FMPHWs had never heard of the term stroke. Surprisingly eighty five percent of all subjects reported at least one correct warning sign of stroke (OR: 1.4; 95 % CI: 0.66 –3.22). The most frequently mentioned individual warning signs were sudden difficulty speaking, sudden weakness. There were no district wise differences regarding the types of warning symptoms that respondents listed. Female Healthcare workers from district Anantnag displayed better knowledge of risk factors than from District Baramulla (OR: 1.1; 95 % CI: 0.8–1.6). 8.6% FMPHWs from Anantnag answered risk factors incorrectly & Hypertension accounted for 61.9% followed by smoking (27.6%) among the correct answers whereas 34% of FMPHWs from Baramulla answered incorrectly about risk factors and also listed Hypertension(57.7%) followed by smoking(11.3%) as risk factors. In response to stroke, FMPHWs from Anantnag were significantly less likely than from Baramulla to choose to call an ambulance or to send the patient immediately to hospital (OR: 0.7; 95 % CI: 0.60–1.01). Conclusions: Stroke knowledge is sub optimal in both districts. This study demonstrates gaps in the knowledge of these health care providers about stroke, and treatment choice. Therefore, workshops, seminars and public awareness campaigns must be implemented to increase knowledge of stroke among female multipurpose health workers and make them aware of the importance of referring the patient immediately to hospital if they experience warning signs of stroke

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