Research Article| Volume 25, ISSUE 6, P1467-1472, June 2016

Mass Media Intervention in Western Norway Aimed at Improving Public Recognition of Stroke, Emergency Response, and Acute Treatment


      This study evaluates the effect of a mass media intervention (MMI) on the number of admissions to the emergency room (ER) with a suspected acute-onset stroke and on the number of patients treated with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT). The MMI was run for 1 month, with a precampaign month, priming the treatment chain and raising in-hospital awareness.


      This study conducted a prospective analysis of all patients admitted to the ER before, during, and after the MMI to assess changes in admission rate and IVT treatment rate. The primary end point was to assess any change in the IVT treatment rate, and the secondary end point was to determine the number of acute stroke admissions to the ER within 4.5 hours of symptom onset.


      The MMI resulted in an increased IVT treatment rate from 7.3 to 11.3 patients per month, an increment of 54% (P = .002). This also resulted in IVT treatment percentages as high as 42%. The number of suspected acute stroke admissions to the ER increased from 37.3 to 72.8 patients per month, a 97% increase (P < .0001). The Epinion interviews showed that stroke symptom recognition increased from 66% to 75%.


      The MMI produced a significant increase in IVT treatment rate. This increased treatment rate is largely due to the increase in the number of acute stroke admissions to the ER. Targeting the treatment chain before the MMI led to unprecedented IVT treatment percentages. The effect of our MMI lasted for approximately 6 months before tapering off; repeated campaigns are a prerequisite for sustained IVT treatment rates.

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