Beauty shops may be an ideal place to educate minority women about the key warning signs of a stroke, according to a new study.

The Study

Researchers gave lessons on stroke prevention and warning signs to beauticians in African-American-run beauty shops in Cincinnati and Atlanta. The beauticians then discussed stroke-related issues with their clients, who also received a packet that included heart healthy cookbooks, wallet cards listing stroke warning signs and other stroke-related materials.

The beauty shop clients were also given stroke knowledge surveys at the start of the study and again five weeks and five months later. Nearly 400 women completed the baseline survey, and 318 women completed the five-month survey.


At the start of the study, 40.7% of the women surveyed knew three stroke-warning signs, compared with 50.6% after five months. The study also found an 8% increase (to a total of 93%) in the women who knew to call 911 immediately in the event of a stroke, and a 7% increase (to a total of 92%) in the women who recognized stroke when they were given a clinical scenario.


Overall, the findings demonstrate that these kinds of community-based programs are an effective method of educating minority groups about stroke risk, said study lead author Dr. Dawn Kleindorfer, a stroke neurologist and associate professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio.

"We know that this program works. Two women had a stroke during the study in the beauty salon, and the beauticians called 911 and got them to the hospital within 45 minutes. The beauticians said they would not have known what to do before our project," Kleindorfer said.

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