Cooperative Strategies to Develop Effective Stroke and Heart Attack Awareness Messages in Rural American Indian Communities, 2009–2010

CDC: May 16, 2013

National initiatives to improve the recognition of heart attack and stroke warning signs have encouraged symptomatic people to seek early treatment, but few have shown significant effects in rural American Indian (AI) communities.

During 2009 and 2010, the Montana Cardiovascular Health Program, in collaboration with 2 tribal health departments, developed and conducted culturally specific public awareness campaigns for signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke via local media. Telephone surveys were conducted before and after each campaign to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaigns.

Knowledge of 3 or more heart attack warning signs and symptoms increased significantly on 1 reservation from 35% at baseline to 47% postcampaign. On the second reservation, recognition of 2 or more stroke signs and symptoms increased from 62% at baseline to 75% postcampaign, and the level of awareness remained at 73% approximately 4 months after the high-intensity campaign advertisements ended. Intent to call 9-1-1 did not increase in the heart attack campaign but did improve in the stroke campaign for specific symptoms. Recall of media campaigns on both reservations increased significantly from baseline to postcampaign for both media outlets (ie, radio and newspaper).  Read more