Ten major risk factors account for 90% of the population attributable stroke risk. Smartphone applications may be used for education and self-managing risk factors. We aimed to explore use and attitudes towards smartphones in a TIA clinic.
Methods From September 2015 consecutive patients attending University College Hospitals, London TIA clinic completed a questionnaire, relating to, stroke risk factors and use of smartphones. A likert scale (strongly disagree=1, strongly agree=10) evaluated attitudes towards Smartphone applications in stroke education and management.
Results 118 patients completed the questionnaire. Mean age 62.7 (±15.8) years, 57 (48.3%) male. Twenty (17%) were ≥80 years. Internet access was available for 98 (83.1%). Smartphones were used by 78 (66.1%), including 7 (35.0%) ≥80 yrs. Applications used included internet access in 61 (78.2%), calendar 55 (70.5%), social media 39 (50.0%) and games 20 (25.6%) games. Only 16 (20.5%) used lifestyle applications. Few, 3 (3.8%), recorded medical information on their smartphone despite 25 (21.2%) presenting without knowing their medications.
Patients reported that they were in favour of accessing stroke information on Smartphones, median response 8 (interquartile range (IQR) 4.75), and that they would use an application showing progress; e.g updates on weight, exercise and blood pressure, median 8 (IQR 4) and to record medications and results, median 8 (IQR 5).
Patients attending hospital TIA services commonly have access to Smartphones and would support using Applications for stroke education and risk factor management. Further studies of actual usage of pilot prevention Smartphone applications are required.