Playing a 15-minute stroke-education video game appeared to improve
children's understanding of stroke
symptoms and what to do if someone is having a stroke, a new study
The research included 210 low-income children, aged 9 and 10, from New York
City who were tested on whether they could identify stroke symptoms and if they
knew to call 911 if they saw a person suffering a stroke.
are the causes of a stroke?
They were tested again immediately after playing a stroke-education game
called Stroke Hero, and again seven weeks later after being given remote
access to the game and encouraged to play at home.
After playing the game, the children were 33% more likely to recognise a
stroke and know to call 911 in case of a stroke. They still had this knowledge
when they were tested again seven weeks later, the study found.
Educating the public
Compared to those who played the game just once, children who continued to play
the game at home were 18% more likely to recognise the stroke symptom of sudden
imbalance, according to the study, which was published recently in the journal Stroke.
90% of the children said they liked playing the game. But although 67% said
they would play it at home, only 26% did.
"We need to educate the public, including children, about stroke,"
study author Dr Olajide Williams, an associate professor of neurology at
Columbia University, said in a journal news release. "Often it's the
witness that makes that 911 call, not the stroke victim. Sometimes these
witnesses are young children."
In the Stroke Hero game, players pilot a clot-busting spaceship
through an artery and blast blood clots with a clot-busting drug. When the
supply of the drug is empty, gamers have to answer questions about stroke
awareness to refill the medicine.
"Video games are fun, widely available and accessible for most
children," Williams said. "Empowering every potential witness with
the knowledge and skills required to make that lifesaving decision if they
witness a stroke is critical."
is often ignored
runs in the family
key to preventing stroke
(Picture: Video game from Shutterstock)