Online Program

Increasing stroke knowledge in Korean seniors: A community-partnered, culturally tailored education intervention

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Sarah Song, MD, MPH, Section of Cerebrovascular Disease, Department of Neurology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Frances Barry, MA, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles
Heejung Park, PhD, Department of Psychology, Beloit College
Connie Hong, MD, Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills
Chi-Hong Tsieng, PhD, Los Angeles, CA
Gery Ryan, PhD, RAND Corporation
Barbara Vickrey, MD, MPH, VA Greater Los Angeles HealthCare System

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Asian-Americans. Few studies have explored how language barriers and cultural perceptions may affect stroke knowledge in Korean seniors.


A Community Advisory Panel (CAP) of seven bilingual Korean-American community leaders guided the project, approving translations and interpreting results. Korean seniors (n=162) were surveyed to assess current knowledge; we conducted three focus groups (n=29) to explore health perceptions and inform intervention design. We developed a culturally-tailored stroke education intervention (emphasizing risk factors, symptoms, response, treatment, treatment time window) that was administered to 257 Korean seniors at 6 community sites (adult day healthcare centers, public housing facilities, church, senior center). We conducted pre-, immediate post-, and 3-month post-intervention surveys to assess knowledge acquisition and retention.


The CAP was instrumental in project oversight and ensuring cultural fidelity. Surveys revealed Korean seniors lacked stroke knowledge. Most were uncomfortable speaking English; traditional Korean remedies (blood-letting, herbs) were not uncommon practice. Cultural perceptions of stroke included “destiny” and “fate.” Participants preferred Korean physicians to give informative messages within positive contexts. Stroke knowledge increased from pre- to immediate post-intervention in all 5 areas; knowledge was sustained at 3 months for 2 of 5 areas.


This culturally-tailored health intervention for Korean seniors represents an initial step in understanding how to raise stroke knowledge in this community. Future interventions in the Korean population would likely benefit from elements of community partnership. This presentation is part of the symposium Research on Minority Aging from the RCMAR Network (#323590).

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of community partnership when working with minority populations Describe some of the cultural attitudes and perceptions about stroke that Korean seniors possess

Keyword(s): Asian Americans, Community-Based Research (CBPR)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator for this project from conception to completion, working in the stroke field as a clinician and a researcher since 2009. My interests are in community-partnered interventions, and I have been involved in multiple projects given my experience with the Asian-American community.
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.