Stroke education program improves medication knowledge and satisfaction with health care providers' explanations
Research Activities, December 2012, No. 388
Early treatment and in-hospital education about the importance of medication to prevent another stroke has been shown to improve outcomes after hospitalization for stroke. A new study shows that in-hospital education of patients about stroke-prevention medications is effective in increasing patients' medication knowledge and satisfaction with health care providers' explanations.
A telephone survey of 2,219 stroke patients 3 months after hospital discharge asked patients about their perceptions of education and communication with their health care providers as well as their current medication use and knowledge. It found that fewer than 2 percent of respondents reported not understanding how to take their medications, 4 percent did not know how to refill their medications, and 5 percent did not know the reasons they were taking them. The majority of patients recalled being provided with a written list and written instructions at hospital discharge (85.3 percent) and currently understanding their medications' side effects (80.0 percent). When asked to provide an overall rating of in-hospital communication with health care providers, 92 percent reported excellent, very good, or good communications.
The researchers point out, however, that challenges exist. Increasingly shorter in-hospital days may decrease the available time needed to provide optimal patient education. They believe that providing consistent and effective patient education before hospital discharge has the potential to reduce the risk of recurrent stroke by improving patient adherence to prescribed medications.
See "An evaluation of stroke education in AVAIL registry hospitals" by Angie West, R.N., M.S.N., C.C.R.N., Margueritte Cox, M.S., Louise O. Zimmer, M.A., M.P.H., and others in the June 2012 Journal of Neuroscience Nursing 44(3), pp. 115-123.