Improving stroke knowledge through a 'volunteer-led' community education program in Australia

Monique Femia Kilkenny, Tara Purvis, Megan Werner, Megan Gail Reyneke, Jude Czerenkowski, Dominique Ann-Michelle Cadilhac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Public awareness of stroke risks and warning signs remains poor. The National Stroke Foundation (NSF) in Australia has been undertaking a StrokeSafe Ambassador Education program to raise awareness of stroke. The format includes presentations by volunteers trained to be 'ambassadors' to spread standard information about stroke to the public. Our aim was to determine the change in knowledge of participants who attended presentations.
Methods: Participants completed questionnaires before immediately after presentations, and at 3 months following the presentation. Information was collected on knowledge of risk factors and signs of stroke. McNemar's test was used to compare paired-responses over time. A p value of <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Between March and April 2014, 591 participants attended 185 presentations and 591 (100 ) completed them before and immediately after presentation questionnaires: 68 were female and 75 were aged 65 years or more. 258 consented for further follow-up with 192 completing follow-up. Comparing immediately after with before presentation showed significantly improved knowledge for all 10 stroke risk factors and all signs of stroke. Significantly improved knowledge for 7/10 risk factors and 1/3 signs of stroke was found when comparing follow-up and immediately after presentation results. Knowledge of 5/10 risk factors and 2/3 signs of stroke improved when comparing follow-up and before presentation.
Conclusion: This study describes a novel approach to support the use of trained volunteers to provide a community-based, standardised education program for stroke. This program shows that community presentations can improve immediate and short-term knowledge of signs and risk factors for stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 5
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Risk factors
  • Education
  • Stroke
  • Australia
  • Stroke signs
  • Prevention
  • Community

Cite this