Can the UK guidelines for stroke be effective? Attitudes to the symptoms of a transient ischaemic attack among the general public and doctors

V. P. Jagadesham, R. Aparajita, M. J. Gough
2008 Clinical medicine (London)  
This questionnaire-based study assessed the attitudes of the general public to the symptoms of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and determined the current level of knowledge about the management of TIA among doctors. The public chose to wait for symptom recurrence before seeking medical advice for amaurosis (41%) and upper limb (UL) monoparesis (51%), sensory loss (68%), or paraesthesia (95%). However, medical advice would be sought most often for slurred speech alone (89%) or combined with
more » ... or combined with UL monoparesis (99%). Most physicians confirmed that these symptoms could represent a 'carotid TIA' but many considered diverse symptoms as relevant. While most general practitioners would prescribe anti-platelet therapy, 22-40% would not refer first-time TIA patients, depending upon the presenting symptom. In conclusion, the general public does not recognise the importance of TIA symptoms and the need for rapid assessment. This is compounded by deficiencies in the medical management of TIA. Stroke guidelines will remain ineffective without public awareness campaigns and physician education. KEY WORDS: health campaign, medical management, public awareness, stroke prevention, transient ischaemic attack PROFESSIONAL ISSUES
doi:10.7861/clinmedicine.8-4-366 pmid:18724600 fatcat:v2gmg2lsijh3laurtppicajnjq