DOI: 10.1161/str.55.suppl_1.tp266 ISSN: 0039-2499

Abstract TP266: Utilization of Survey, Focus Group, and Referral Data to Plan a Targeted Intervention for Rural Stroke Disparities, Prevention, and Care Access

Tom Curley, Lauren Stevenson, Rebecca Gainey, Erika Yourkiewicz, Kimberly Oyler
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neurology (clinical)

Methods: This project was a collaborative partnership between a healthcare organization, academic institute, and the local Faith Health Network. A 34-question survey (n=54 respondents) collected data on rural community knowledge of stroke risk factors, symptoms, and prevention. Three focus groups (n=40 total participants) were conducted to better understand experiences with stroke and obstacles to accessing wellness and healthcare in rural communities. The focus group questions centered on barriers, stroke impact, and solutions. Thematic summaries were aligned with stroke referral heat maps and demographics to develop a targeted plan for intervention.

Results: Survey respondents reported gaps in awareness of stroke risk factors, stroke identification, and emergency response. Lack of motivation, followed by lack of time or energy, stress, lack of access to healthy foods, and community of support were barriers to healthy living. Cost, followed by transportation, access to medications, time, lack of insurance, and language differences were barriers to accessing medical care. Thematic analysis of focus group discussions was conducted for the three initial topics of barriers, stroke impact, and solutions. Dialogue on barriers revealed themes of lifestyle, access, and advocacy. Themes within stroke impact included mental health, access, and advocacy. For solutions, themes emerged as health education, lifestyle, access, and advocacy. Each theme had additional subthemes and direct participant quotes. Survey responses, focus group themes, and referral demographics were synthesized to form a plan to impact stroke prevention and care in these rural areas.

Conclusion: A multi-faceted, targeted approach is necessary to increase rural stroke awareness, address disparities in care, and decrease barriers to healthy living and care access.

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