Stroke-related knowledge and attitudes among university students in Northeast Nigeria
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Stroke education programs at schools and colleges help to promote public knowledge of stroke, but the impact in Nigeria is not well known. This study assessed stroke-related knowledge and attitudes among university students in Nigeria, where health studies are parts of college curricula. This was a cross-sectional study of students at three universities in Northeast Nigeria. Using questionnaire survey, we assessed biographical data and participant knowledge of the primary site, warning signs and risk factors of stroke. Responses were graded on a knowledge score, where ≥2.5 points indicated adequate knowledge. Data were analyzed with the SPSS version 21 program. We studied 824 participants, 67.1% males. Males were older than females (mean age ± SD: 27.42±5.58 years versus 26.27±5.31 years; P = 0.009; 95% CI: 0.29 – 1.99) and 14.5% participants had stroke lectures during general studies. Major sources of stroke knowledge were personal discussions (44.6%) and internet websites (24.5%). Only 15.7% participants correctly identified the brain as the primary site of stroke, while knowledge of one or more stroke warning signs and risk factors were noted in 42.2% and 49.6%, respectively. Mean knowledge score was 1.08 ± 0.99. Adequate knowledge of stroke was noted in 13.2% participants, and was higher in females (17.7% versus 10.7%; P = 0.01). Logistic regression analysis showed significant associations between adequate knowledge of stroke with female sex (OR 1.8; 95% CI: 1.2 – 2.8; P = 0.008) and a history of stroke in close relatives (OR 1.7; 95% CI: 1.1 – 2.6; P = 0.025) but not with age, academic discipline or stroke lectures. University students in Northeast Nigeria have low knowledge of stroke, which is worse in males. Although health issues are taught at universities, little is taught on stroke, suggesting a need to prioritize stroke knowledge in the university curriculum.
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