Development and Implementation of a Stroke Education Programme for Children in Secondary Schools in the Lothians
(2015) Development and Implementation of a Stroke Education Programme for Children in Secondary Schools in the Lothians, no. 80.
Stroke is the third most common cause of death behind heart disease and cancer and is the largest cause of adult disability within the UK. The risk factors most closely linked with stroke namely smoking, high blood pressure, poor diet, low exercise levels and alcohol consumption are highly prevalent in Scotland. Levels of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which have also been linked to stroke, are increasing in the younger population. Despite high profile campaigns, such as FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) there still appears to be an alarming lack of knowledge in stroke awareness among the general public, highlighting a need to find new methods of delivering health information. Successful work has been carried out with schoolchildren in the United States, with one project being implemented in a number of states, reaching around 15,000 children. The Curriculum for Excellence, implemented in Scottish schools in 2010-2011, includes learning in health and wellbeing. This provides children with information to make informed choices about living healthily. Research has shown that children can influence their parent's lifestyle choices such as diet and stopping smoking. Working with partners from NHS Lothian, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, Education Scotland, City of Edinburgh, East, Mid and West Lothian Councils, parent groups and schools, a stroke education programme will be developed based on those implemented in the United States. This programme will be delivered in four schools, one from each Council, to children between the ages of 11 and 14 and children will be invited to give feedback. If successful, the long term goal is to fully integrate the programme into the Curriculum for Excellence and extend to all secondary schools in Scotland.