Katie Stack* and Wendy Robertson
Warwick Medical School, UK
Objectives: This systematic review aims to discover whether there are differences in the knowledge of stroke risk factors and awareness of stroke warning signs with regards to socioeconomic position (SEP) in Europe.
Methods: Online databases were searched for articles looking at knowledge of stroke risk factors and/or awareness of warning signs, with results broken down by SEP. A title and abstract screen, and, if appropriate, a full text screen, of these results was carried out, as well screening reference lists of included studies.
Results: The database search identified 2,090 records for screening. A further 28 papers from reference lists of the final included studies were also screened. Twenty articles were included in the final review. Eleven out of seventeen
Studies looking at stroke risk factors found increasing knowledge to be associated with higher SEP, four studies found there to be no difference by SEP and one study found increasing knowledge of risk factors to be associated with a lower SEP. With regards to stroke warning signs, fifteen out of nineteen studies found there to be a better awareness of warning signs with a higher SEP, three found there to be no difference, and one study found there was a higher knowledge of warning signs by lower SEP.
Conclusion: Overall, in Europe a better knowledge of stroke risk factors and awareness of warning signs is associated with a higher socioeconomic position. Public health campaigns and educational programmes aiming to increase stroke awareness should be targeted at people with a lower SEP.