200958 Secondary Stroke Prevention: Tackling Risk Factor Reduction One Family at a Time

Monday, November 9, 2009

Laura Evensen, MPH , Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY
Heather M. Carman, MPH(c) , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Bernadette Boden-Albala, MPH, DrPH , Dept. of Neurology, College of Phyisicans and Surgeons, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Stroke is the leading cause of disability and third leading cause of death in the United States. While many patients hospitalized for stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack) experience a strong desire to change lifestyle choices, changes such as these may be difficult or impossible to affect and maintain without support of family and friends. The FURRThER (Families Understanding Risk Reduction Through Educational Reinforcement) Study aims to test the effectiveness of a family-based educational intervention to increase knowledge of stroke risk factors, increase utilization of known risk factor reduction strategies, and reduce risk for secondary stroke in families in a multiethnic community. The FURRThER intervention is designed to improve health behaviors in family members through three targeted domains: improving involvement in community activities, improving physical activity and eating habits, and facilitating communication with health providers.

Lifestyle changes, such as risk factor reduction, are most effective when made in conjunction with the support of immediate family. Additionally, while stroke risk is demonstrated in a stroke or TIA survivor, common risk factors may be undetected in family members of survivors who share not only genetic propensity to cardiovascular disease, but also environmental factors, including dietary and exercise habits, common stressors and health attitudes and beliefs.

This presentation will address the effectiveness of health education by treating the family unit rather than the individual survivor. Barriers to successful behavior modification within the family setting will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
•Discuss how a family-based educational intervention can utilize the momentum of the ‘teachable moment’ following a stroke to help families make lasting behavioral changes. •Describe how health education may be enhanced using interactive techniques in a family setting. •Identify potential barriers to success in a family-educational setting.

Keywords: Behavior Modification, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the coordinator and health educator for this pilot trial, which is based on a previous individual-focused educational intervention in a randomized, in-patient clinical setting. I received my MPH at Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, in Community Health and Urbanism and my focus in stroke research has been in young stroke patients and social support aspects of risk reduction.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.