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Characteristics associated with patient delay during the management of ST-segment elevated myocardial infarction, and the influence of awareness campaigns

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: The delay between the occurrence of symptoms and the call seeking medical assistance is an important component of the pain-to-balloon delay in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Factors affecting this "patient delay" have been poorly studied, and campaigns to raise emergency call awareness have barely been evaluated.

AIMS: To evaluate the factors related to patient delay, and the effects of public awareness campaigns undertaken in our region.

METHODS: Data from the regional registry of STEMI in Limousin, France, were analysed, and we performed a survey to assess medical history, clinical signs, context, socioeconomic situation and perception and behaviour of the patient. "Late callers" (i.e. third tertile,>154minutes) were compared with "early callers" (i.e. first and second tertiles,≤154minutes) using univariate and multivariable statistical methods. The influence of public awareness campaigns was studied by comparing the patient delays before and after a regional campaign.

RESULTS: Among 481 patients, the median patient delay was 87minutes. "Late callers" were older (odds ratio [OR] 1.02 per year, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.00 to 1.03), more often had symptom onset between 00:00 and 05:59 a.m. (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.10 to 3.12) and more often sought assistance from a general practitioner (OR 2.58, 95% CI 1.66 to 4.04) or attended the emergency room (OR 4.10, 95% CI 2.04 to 8.32). Sweats and considering the situation to be severe were factors associated with a reduced delay. After awareness campaigns, there was no change in patient delay, but the proportion of patients calling the Emergency Medical Services increased from 55% to 62% (P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Patient delay is multifactorial. The impact of previous campaigns is mixed. Psychological and behavioural aspects are determinant, and should be taken into consideration to develop awareness messages that target specific groups.

Journal: Arch Cardiovasc Dis
ISSN: 1875-2136
Issue: 4
Volume: 114
Pages: 305-315
Keywords:Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Awareness, Female, France/epidemiology, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Promotion, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Registries, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction/diagnosis, Time Factors, Time-to-Treatment