PURPOSE: To identify the effects of a brief educational intervention on stroke patients' recall and recognition of risk factors and performance of and stage of change for stroke risk-related behaviors.
METHODS: Sixty-six patients with stroke participated in a multisite randomized controlled trial. The intervention group (n = 35) received a brief education intervention (tailored written stroke information, verbal reinforcement of information for 3 months after discharge, and provision of a telephone number). The control group (n = 31) received usual care. Unprompted recall (personal and general), prompted recognition of risk factors (0-13), and performance of (0-10) and stage of change for up to 7 stroke risk-related behaviors were assessed before and 3 months after discharge.
RESULTS: No significant between-group differences were found. For all participants over time, there were significant improvements for personal (mean difference [MD], 0.3; 95% CI, 0.004-0.69; P = .05) and general (MD, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.09-1.16; P = .02) risk factor recall; performance of stroke risk-related behaviors (MD, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.28-1.26; P < .01); and progression from a nonaction to an action stage of change for 4 of 7 behaviors over time. There was a significant decline in total risk factor recognition scores (MD, -0.8; 95% CI, 0.39-1.13; P < .01).
CONCLUSION: Stroke patients' unprompted recall of risk factors and performance of risk-related behaviors improved over time; readiness to change risk-related behaviors progressed for some behaviors. A brief educational intervention did not improve risk factor awareness or behavior change more than usual care.