Knowledge, perceptions and thoughts of stroke among Arab-Muslim Israelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Age-adjusted stroke mortality rates in Israel are higher among Arabs compared with Jews; therefore, knowledge of stroke signs and prevention strategies is especially important in the Arab population. Data on stroke knowledge among Arabs in Israel are lacking. Aim: We aimed to examine knowledge, perceptions and thoughts of stroke among Arab-Muslim Israelis. Methods: A complementary mixed method design was used. Ninety-nine Arab Muslims living in Israel, older than 40 years, with no history of stroke, were personally interviewed. Knowledge of stroke was assessed using quantitative analysis by a semi-structured interview. Information on perceptions and thoughts evoked by stroke was analyzed using qualitative analysis by the constant comparative method. Rates of reported knowledge-related variables were presented. Results: Mean (SD) age of participants was 50.1 (8.0) years, 52.5% were women. Most of the participants (84.8%) knew the causes of stroke but only 29.3% mentioned sudden weakness or paralysis in one side of the body as a warning sign and other warning signs were even less known. The main known risk factor was hypertension (43.3%). Although knowledge of stroke prevention was poor, 89% were interested in learning about stroke and its prevention. The qualitative findings showed that stroke evokes negative thoughts of mental and physical burden and is associated with death, disability, dependence and depression. Conclusion: Levels of stroke knowledge among Arab-Muslim Israelis are low to moderate. Healthcare professionals should assist high risk populations in controlling and treating risk factors in order to reduce mortality and disability following a stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Arab-Muslim Israelis
  • knowledge
  • mixed method
  • risk factor
  • stroke
  • warning sign

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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