Background - Transient ischemic attack (TIA) and stroke patients often show a striking lack of knowledge about their disease. We developed a computer program that provided health education fitting the educational level, risk profile and symptoms of patients and evaluated it in a randomized controlled trial. Methods - Transient ischemic attack or minor stroke patients were allocated to health education by a physician (n = 32) or to a combination of education by a physician and the computer program (n = 33). Knowledge was tested by means of a questionnaire at 1 and 12 weeks after inclusion. The maximum possible score was 71 points. Results - Overall knowledge was low - the mean score was 43.6 at 1 week and 42.0 points at 12 weeks for both the groups. The intervention group had slightly better scores at 1 week after using the computer program, 45.4 vs 41.5 (P = 0.09), with the difference increasing to 4.3 points after (post-hoc) adjustment for age and level of education (P = 0.06). After 12 weeks, the score in the intervention group dropped significantly to 42.0 points (P = 0.05), and was no longer different from the standard group Conclusion - This study did not show a lasting effect of health education by an individualized computer program on the knowledge of TIA and minor stroke patients.

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Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Maasland, E., Koudstaal, P., Habbema, D., & Dippel, D. (2007). Effects of an individualized multimedia computer program for health education in patients with a recent minor stroke or transient ischemic attack - A randomized controlled trial. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 115(1), 41–48. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0404.2006.00722.x