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delay, ischemic, stroke, symptom response, women



  1. Beal, Claudia C.


ABSTRACT: Delay seeking medical assistance for acute ischemic stroke remains a barrier to the provision of optimal care, including the administration of tissue plasminogen activator. Although women report greater knowledge of stroke symptoms and stroke risk factors than men, earlier hospital arrival in women has not been consistently reported. The purposes of this study were to examine women's interpretation of stroke symptoms and compare cognitive and behavioral responses between women who arrived at the hospital within 3 hours of symptom onset and women who arrived after 3 hours. More than half of the participants arrived at the hospital greater than 3 hours after first noticing symptoms. Most women did not recognize the cause of symptoms. Knowledge about a treatment of stroke was limited, and a minority of the women knew they were at risk for stroke despite having known risk factors. Maladaptive responses to symptoms were reported more frequently by women with hospital arrival greater than 3 hours after symptom onset than by women with earlier arrival. Efforts are needed to reduce maladaptive responses to stroke onset that may contribute to delay seeking medical assistance for the symptoms of acute ischemic stroke.