Impact of community-based education on health care evaluation in patients with acute chest pain syndromes: The Wabasha Heart Attack Team (WHAT) project

R. Scott Wright, Stephen L. Kopecky, Marvin Timma, Douglas D. Pflaum, Craig Carr, Kathleen Evers, Julia Bell

Abstract

Background. Community education programmes focused on raising public awareness of the symptomatology of acute coronary syndromes have had mixed results. Objectives. The Wabasha Heart Attack Team project, a unique multidisciplinary public education effort in Minnesota, sought to educate area citizens about signs and symptoms of acute myocardial infarction (MI). Methods. After an intensive 1-month education period, we compared presentations for emergency evaluation of chest pain during the study period with baseline data from the same seasonal period of the preceding year. Results. Visits to the Emergency Room for symptomatic heart disease increased significantly during the study period (56 patients versus 46 patients during the baseline period), as did the percentage of patients presenting with acute MI (18% versus 12%, P < 0.05). Use of emergency medical sevices for pre-hospital evaluation was significantly increased (41% versus 27%, P < 0.05). Conclusion. A community education campaign can significantly increase use of pre-hospital emergency medical service resources and may increase the number of patients presenting with acute chest pain symptoms, including MI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-539
Number of pages3
JournalFamily Practice
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Community medicine
  • Health education
  • Myocardial infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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