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African American, behavior change, prevention, risk perception, stroke, young adult



  1. Aycock, Dawn M.
  2. Clark, Patricia C.
  3. Hayat, Matthew J.
  4. Salazar, Laura F.
  5. Eriksen, Michael P.


Background: African Americans have a higher incidence of early-onset stroke and poorer stroke-related outcomes than other race/ethnic groups.


Objectives: Our two-arm, randomized controlled trial was implemented to assess efficacy of the nurse-led Stroke Counseling for Risk Reduction (SCORRE) intervention in reducing stroke risk in young African American adults by improving accuracy of perceived stroke risk and lifestyle behaviors (i.e., diet, physical activity, and smoking cessation). Stroke knowledge, behavior change readiness, and perceived competence to live a healthy lifestyle were also explored as secondary outcomes.


Methods: African Americans aged 20-35 years, recruited from an urban university and surrounding community, were randomized to SCORRE or an attention placebo control group receiving safe sex education. Data were collected pre-intervention, immediate post-intervention, and at 8 weeks. Multilevel models were used for primary outcome analyses.


Results: Participants (n = 106) were mostly in their mid-20s, female, college students, and averaged about three modifiable stroke risk factors. Compared to the control group, participants in the intervention group had, on average, a significant increase in accuracy of perceived stroke risk post-intervention, a greater change in perceived competence to live healthy, and a greater increase in dietary components at 8 weeks. Significant changes were not found in physical activity and other outcomes.


Discussion: These findings suggest that SCORRE is a promising intervention to reduce stroke risk among young African American adults. Results will inform a more robust, randomized controlled trial of SCORRE to have an age, culture, and gender-focused intervention that effectively reduces stroke risk among African Americans early in life.