Publications by authors named "Carolyn Jenkins"

91 Publications

Risk Factor Characterization of Ischemic Stroke Subtypes Among West Africans.

Stroke 2021 Sep 30:STROKEAHA120032072. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

Federal Medical Centre Umuahia, , Nigeria (K.U., I.I.C., U.O., O.O., K.A.O.).

Background And Purpose: To identify the qualitative and quantitative contributions of conventional risk factors for occurrence of ischemic stroke and its key pathophysiologic subtypes among West Africans.

Methods: The SIREN (Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network) is a multicenter, case-control study involving 15 sites in Ghana and Nigeria. Cases include adults aged ≥18 years with ischemic stroke who were etiologically subtyped using the A-S-C-O-D classification into atherosclerosis, small-vessel occlusion, cardiac pathology, other causes, and dissection. Controls were age- and gender-matched stroke-free adults. Detailed evaluations for vascular, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors were performed. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios with 95% CI.

Results: There were 2431 ischemic stroke case and stroke-free control pairs with respective mean ages of 62.2±14.0 versus 60.9±13.7 years. There were 1024 (42.1%) small vessel occlusions, 427 (17.6%) large-artery atherosclerosis, 258 (10.6%) cardio-embolic, 3 (0.1%) carotid dissections, and 719 (29.6%) undetermined/other causes. The adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) for the 8 dominant risk factors for ischemic stroke were hypertension, 10.34 (6.91-15.45); dyslipidemia, 5.16 (3.78-7.03); diabetes, 3.44 (2.60-4.56); low green vegetable consumption, 1.89 (1.45-2.46); red meat consumption, 1.89 (1.45-2.46); cardiac disease, 1.88 (1.22-2.90); monthly income $100 or more, 1.72 (1.24-2.39); and psychosocial stress, 1.62 (1.18-2.21). Hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes were confluent factors shared by small-vessel, large-vessel and cardio-embolic subtypes. Stroke cases and stroke-free controls had a mean of 5.3±1.5 versus 3.2±1.0 adverse cardio-metabolic risk factors respectively (<0.0001).

Conclusions: Traditional vascular risk factors demonstrate important differential effect sizes with pathophysiologic, clinical and preventative implications on the occurrence of ischemic stroke among indigenous West Africans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.032072DOI Listing
September 2021

A Novel Afrocentric Stroke Risk Assessment Score: Models from the Siren Study.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Oct 28;30(10):106003. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Medical University of South Carolina, SC, USA.

Background: Stroke risk can be quantified using risk factors whose effect sizes vary by geography and race. No stroke risk assessment tool exists to estimate aggregate stroke risk for indigenous African.

Objectives: To develop Afrocentric risk-scoring models for stroke occurrence.

Materials And Methods: We evaluated 3533 radiologically confirmed West African stroke cases paired 1:1 with age-, and sex-matched stroke-free controls in the SIREN study. The 7,066 subjects were randomly split into a training and testing set at the ratio of 85:15. Conditional logistic regression models were constructed by including 17 putative factors linked to stroke occurrence using the training set. Significant risk factors were assigned constant and standardized statistical weights based on regression coefficients (β) to develop an additive risk scoring system on a scale of 0-100%. Using the testing set, Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curves were constructed to obtain a total score to serve as cut-off to discriminate between cases and controls. We calculated sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) at this cut-off.

Results: For stroke occurrence, we identified 15 traditional vascular factors. Cohen's kappa for validity was maximal at a total risk score of 56% using both statistical weighting approaches to risk quantification and in both datasets. The risk score had a predictive accuracy of 76% (95%CI: 74-79%), sensitivity of 80.3%, specificity of 63.0%, PPV of 68.5% and NPV of 76.2% in the test dataset. For ischemic strokes, 12 risk factors had predictive accuracy of 78% (95%CI: 74-81%). For hemorrhagic strokes, 7 factors had a predictive accuracy of 79% (95%CI: 73-84%).

Conclusions: The SIREN models quantify aggregate stroke risk in indigenous West Africans with good accuracy. Prospective studies are needed to validate this instrument for stroke prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.106003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8511059PMC
October 2021

Influence of age on links between major modifiable risk factors and stroke occurrence in West Africa.

J Neurol Sci 2021 09 9;428:117573. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Electronic address:

Background The burden of stroke in Africa is high. Understanding how age associates with major modifiable stroke risk factors could inform tailored demographic stroke prevention strategies. Purpose To quantify the magnitude and direction of the effect sizes of key modifiable stroke risk factors according to three age groups: <50 years (young), 50-65 years (middle age) and > 65 years (elderly) in West Africa. Methods This was a case-control study involving 15 sites in Ghana and Nigeria. Cases included adults aged ≥18 years with CT/MRI scan-typed stroke. Controls were age-and gender-matched stroke-free adults. Detailed evaluations for vascular, lifestyle and psychosocial factors were performed. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (aOR) using conditional logistic regression and population attributable risk (PAR) with 95% Confidence Interval of vascular risk factors by age groups. Results Among 3553 stroke cases, 813 (22.9%) were young, 1441 (40.6%) were middle-aged and 1299 (36.6%) were elderly. Among the 5 co-shared risk factors, dyslipidemia with PAR and aOR (95%CI) of 62.20% (52.82-71.58) and 4.13 (2.64-6.46) was highest among the young age group; hypertension with PAR of 94.31% (91.82-96.80) and aOR of 28.93 (15.10-55.44) was highest among the middle-age group. Diabetes with PAR of 32.29%(27.52-37.05) and aOR of 3.49 (2.56-4.75); meat consumption with PAR of 42.34%(32.33-52.35) and aOR of 2.40 (1.76, 3.26); and non-consumption of green vegetables, PAR of 16.81%(12.02-21.60) and aOR of 2.23 (1.60-3.12) were highest among the elderly age group. However confidence intervals of risk estimates overlapped across age groups. Additionally, among the young age group cigarette smoking, psychosocial stress and cardiac disease were independently associated with stroke. Furthermore, education, stress, physical inactivity and salt intake were associated with stroke in the middle-age group while cardiac disease was associated with stroke in the elderly age group. Conclusion There is a differential influence of age on the associations of major risk factors with stroke in this West African cohort. Targeting modifiable factors predominant within an age group may be more effective as a stroke prevention strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.117573DOI Listing
September 2021

Frequency and factors associated with post-stroke seizures in a large multicenter study in West Africa.

J Neurol Sci 2021 Aug 9;427:117535. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Nigeria; Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Background: Post-stroke seizures (PSS) are associated with significant morbidity and mortality across the globe. There is a paucity of data on PSS in Africa.

Purpose: To assess the frequency and factors associated with PSS by stroke types across 15 hospitals in Nigeria and Ghana.

Methods: We analyzed data on all stroke cases recruited into the Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network (SIREN). We included adults aged ≥18 years with radiologically confirmed ischemic stroke (IS) or intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). PSS were defined as acute symptomatic seizures occurring at stroke onset and/or during acute hospitalization up until discharge. We used logistic regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% Confidence Interval.

Results: Among 3344 stroke patients, 499 (14.9%) had PSS (95% CI: 13.7-16.2%). The mean duration of admission in days for those with PSS vs no PSS was 17.4 ± 28.6 vs 15.9 ± 24.7, p = 0.72. There were 294(14.1%) PSS among 2091 ischemic strokes and 159(17.7%) among 897 with ICH, p = 0.01. The factors associated with PSS occurrence were age < 50 years, aOR of 1.59 (1.08-2.33), National Institute of Health Stroke Score (NIHSS), 1.29 (1.16-1.42) for each 5 units rise and white cell count 1.07 (1.01-1.13) for each 10^3 mm rise. Factors associated with PSS in ischemic were NIHSS score, aOR of 1.17 (1.04-1.31) and infarct volume of 10-30 cm aOR of 2.17(1.37-3.45). Among ICH, associated factors were alcohol use 5.91 (2.11-16.55) and lobar bleeds 2.22 (1.03-4.82).

Conclusion: The burden of PSS among this sample of west Africans is substantial and may contribute to poor outcomes of stroke in this region. Further longitudinal studies are required to understand the impact on morbidity and mortality arising from PSS in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.117535DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8325635PMC
August 2021

Program to Avoid Cerebrovascular Events through Systematic Electronic Tracking and Tailoring of an Eminent Risk factor: Protocol of a RCT.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Aug 27;30(8):105815. Epub 2021 May 27.

Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, United States. Electronic address:

Background: Geographical and racial disparities in stroke outcomes are especially prominent in the Southeastern United States, which represents a region more heavily burdened with stroke compared to the rest of the country. While stroke is eminently preventable, particularly via blood pressure control, fewer than one third of patients with a stroke have their blood pressure controlled ≥ 75% of the time, and low consistency of blood pressure control is linked to higher stroke risk.

Objective: To demonstrate that a mHealth technology-centered, integrated approach can effectively improve sustained blood pressure control among stroke patients (half of whom will be Black).

Design: The Program to Avoid Cerebrovascular Events through Systematic Electronic Tracking and Tailoring of an Eminent Risk-factor is a prospective randomized controlled trial, which will include a cohort of 200 patients with a stroke, encountered at two major safety net health care systems in South Carolina. The intervention comprises utilization of a Vaica electronic pill tray & blue-toothed UA-767Plus BT blood pressure device and a dedicated app installed on patients' smart phones for automatic relay of data to a central server. Providers will follow care protocols based on expert consensus practice guidelines to address optimal blood pressure management.

Study Outcomes: Primary outcome is systolic blood pressure at 12-months, which is the major modifiable step to stroke event rate reduction. Secondary endpoints include control of other stroke risk factors, medication adherence, functional status, and quality of life.

Discussion: We anticipate that a successful intervention will serve as a scalable model of effective chronic blood pressure management after stroke, to bridge racial and geographic disparities in stroke outcomes in the United States.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov - NCT03401489.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.105815DOI Listing
August 2021

Interprofessional Collaboration in Women's Health Care: Collective Competencies, Interactive Learning, and Measurable Improvement.

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am 2021 Mar;48(1):1-10

College of Nursing and College of Graduate Studies, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.

Interprofessional collaboration has the potential to impact our complex, dynamic health care system through team-led or collective core competencies (professionalism, communication, teamwork, interprofessional education) that promote system improvements for quality care and patient safety. Strategies to reduce errors and subsequent adverse outcomes focus on interactive training; simulations and drills; development of protocols, guidelines, and checklists; use of information technology; and relevant interactive educational activities in the workplace. When sustained with a shared vision, good communication, and enthusiasm for the work being done, interprofessional collaboration can lead to measurable improvements in delivery of women's health care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ogc.2020.11.010DOI Listing
March 2021

Training Academic and Community Investigator Teams for Community-Engaged Research: Program Development, Implementation, Evaluation and Replication.

Prog Community Health Partnersh 2020 ;14(2):229-242

Background: Community-engaged research (CEnR) is an approach to conducting research that actively involves both academic and community partners. Yet many academic researchers have limited knowledge of emerging science and processes for effectively engaging communities and community members are often subjects of research with limited knowledge and participation in the development and implementation of research.

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to explore two CEnR research training programs, both funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the explicit purpose of facilitating translational science. South Carolina developed the initial program that served as a model for the Delaware program.

Methods: Information is presented about how these two programs recruit, develop, and support academic and community partnerships, as well as how each uses mentorship, funding, and structured training programs for successful CEnR with an emphasis on community-based participatory research (CBPR). The development of each program, the funding source, selection process, team requirements and expectations, educational content, evaluation and outcomes are described.

Results: Both programs have increased the number and quality of community-engaged researchers, with 40 academic and community dyad partnerships participating in the training and successfully completing pilot projects. Evaluations reveal the development of effective academic- community partnerships for research with successful dissemination and return on investment (ROI) ranging from $9.72 to $41.59 for each dollar invested in the projects.

Conclusions: Research teams have demonstrated improvements in developing and using CEnR and CBPR approaches. These intermediate measures of success demonstrate the need for similar programs that provide training, preparation, and support to those interested in CEnR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/cpr.2020.0019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8392131PMC
September 2021

Recognizing Cross-Institutional Fiscal and Administrative Barriers and Facilitators to Conducting Community-Engaged Clinical and Translational Research.

Acad Med 2021 04;96(4):558-567

C.H. Wilkins is professor of medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, and vice president of health equity and associate dean for health equity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8043-513X.

Purpose: This qualitative study examined fiscal and administrative (i.e., pre- and post-award grants process) barriers and facilitators to community-engaged research among stakeholders across 4 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) institutions.

Method: A purposive sample of 24 key informants from 3 stakeholder groups-community partners, academic researchers, and research administrators-from the CTSA institutions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Medical University of South Carolina, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Yale University participated. Semistructured interviews were conducted in March-July 2018, including questions about perceived challenges and best practices in fiscal and administrative processes in community-engaged research. Transcribed interviews were independently reviewed and analyzed using the Rapid Assessment Process to facilitate key theme and quote identification.

Results: Community partners were predominantly Black, academic researchers and research administrators were predominantly White, and women made up two-thirds of the overall sample. Five key themes were identified: level of partnership equity, partnership collaboration and communication, institutional policies and procedures, level of familiarity with varying fiscal and administrative processes, and financial management expectations. No stakeholders reported best practices for the institutional policies and procedures theme. Cross-cutting challenges included communication gaps between stakeholder groups; lack of or limits in supporting community partners' fiscal capacity; and lack of collective awareness of each stakeholder group's processes, procedures, and needs. Cross-cutting best practices centered on shared decision making and early and timely communication between all stakeholder groups in both pre- and post-award processes.

Conclusions: Findings highlight the importance of equitable processes, triangulated communication, transparency, and recognizing and respecting different financial management cultures within community-engaged research. This work can be a springboard used by CTSA institutions to build on available resources that facilitate co-learning and discussions between community partners, academic researchers, and research administrators on fiscal readiness and administrative processes for improved community-engaged research partnerships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000003893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996237PMC
April 2021

Considerations in Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Reduce Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Stroke Outcomes in the United States.

Stroke 2020 11 26;51(11):3433-3439. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention and Department of Epidemiology, University of California, Irvine (B.B.-A.).

We write this article amid a global pandemic and a heightened awareness of the underlying structural racism in the United States, unmasked by the recent killing of George Floyd and multiple other unarmed Black Americans (Spring 2020). Our purpose is to highlight the role of social determinants of health (SDOH) on stroke disparities, to inspire dialogue, to encourage research to deepen our understanding of the mechanism by which SDOH impact stroke outcomes, and to develop strategies to address SDOH and reduce stroke racial/ethnic disparities. We begin by defining SDOH and health disparities in today's context; we then move to discussing SDOH and stroke, particularly secondary stroke prevention, and conclude with possible approaches to addressing SDOH and reducing stroke disparities. These approaches include (1) building on prior work; (2) enhancing our understanding of populations and subpopulations, including intersectionality, of people who experience stroke disparities; (3) prioritizing populations and points along the stroke care continuum when racial/ethnic disparities are most prominent; (4) understanding how SDOH impact stroke disparities in order to test SDOH interventions that contribute to the disparity; (5) partnering with communities; and (6) exploring technological innovations. By building on the prior work and expanding efforts to address SDOH, we believe that stroke disparities can be reduced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.030426DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732185PMC
November 2020

Community-Based Interventions for Stroke Provided by Nurses and Community Health Workers: A Review of the Literature.

J Neurosci Nurs 2020 Aug;52(4):152-159

Background: Community-based interventions are vital for facilitating poststroke recovery, increasing community participation, and raising awareness about stroke survivors. To optimize recovery and community reintegration, there is a need to understand research findings on community-based interventions that focus on stroke survivors and their caregivers. Although nurses and community health workers (CHWs) are commonly involved in community-based interventions, less is known about their roles relative to other poststroke rehabilitation professionals (physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists). Thus, the purpose of this review is to explore research focused on improving community-based stroke recovery for adult stroke survivors, caregivers, or both when delivered by nurses or CHWs.

Methods: A systematic review using Scopus, PubMed, EBSCOhost, MEDLINE, CINAHL Complete, and PsycInfo was completed to identify community-based poststroke intervention studies using nurses or CHWs through August 2018.

Results: Eighteen studies meeting inclusion criteria from 9 countries were identified. Details regarding nurses' and CHWs' roles were limited or not discussed. Interventions emphasized stroke survivor self-care and caregiver support and were offered face-to-face and in group sessions in the community and home. A wide range of instruments were used to measure outcomes. The results of the interventions provided were mixed. Improvements were observed in perceptions of health, quality of life, knowledge, self-efficacy, self-management, and caregiver support.

Conclusion: Nurses and CHWs play a pivotal role in community-based care. Evidence suggests community-based interventions facilitate the necessary support for stroke survivors, caregivers, families, and communities to optimize stroke recovery. Data from this review illustrate a continued need for comprehensive programs designed to address the complex needs of stroke survivors and families when they return to their homes and communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JNN.0000000000000512DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7337158PMC
August 2020

Unraveling the risk factors for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage among West Africans.

Neurology 2020 03 19;94(10):e998-e1012. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

From Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (F.S.S., L.A., A. Singh, D.O.), Kumasi, Ghana; University of California (B.O.), San Francisco; Medical University of South Carolina (M.G., D.L., C.J., F.M.), Charleston; College of Medicine (O. Akpa, G. Ogbole, M.O., J.A., A.O., A. Adeoye, L. Ogunjimi, O. Arulogun, F.A., O. Ogah, A. Makanjuola, O. Adebayo, A. Agunloye, S.L., S.D., M.F., C.E.), University of Ibadan, Nigeria; University of Ghana Medical School (A. Akpalu, R.L., B.C.-T.), Accra; University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (K.W., L. Oyinloye, P.K., E.S.); Federal Medical Centre (R.A., O. Adeleye), Abeokuta; Ahmadu Bello University (R.O., O.B., V.S., H.I.), Zaria; Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (M.K., B.F., O. Ajose, S.O.), Ile-Ife; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (L. Owolabi, A. Mande), Kano, Nigeria; University of Kentucky (D.A.), Lexington; University of Alabama at Birmingham (H.T.); University of Cambridge (H.S.M.), UK; Delta State University Teaching Hospital (O. Olugbo); Jos Teaching Hospital (G. Osaigbovo, A. Salaam, G.A., C.I.), Plateau State; Federal Medical Centre (I.C.), Umuahia, Abia State; Federal Medical Centre (T.S.), Owo, Ondo State; and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital (A. Akintunde), Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria.

Objective: To characterize risk factors for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) occurrence and severity among West Africans.

Methods: The Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network (SIREN) study is a multicenter case-control study involving 15 sites in Ghana and Nigeria. Patients were adults ≥18 years old with CT-confirmed sICH with age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched stroke-free community controls. Standard instruments were used to assess vascular, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors. Factors associated with sICH and its severity were assessed using conditional logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and population-attributable risks (PARs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors.

Results: Of 2,944 adjudicated stroke cases, 854 were intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Mean age of patients with ICH was 54.7 ± 13.9 years, with a male preponderance (63.1%), and 77.3% were nonlobar. Etiologic subtypes of sICH included hypertension (80.9%), structural vascular anomalies (4.0%), cerebral amyloid angiopathy (0.7%), systemic illnesses (0.5%), medication-related (0.4%), and undetermined (13.7%). Eight factors independently associated with sICH occurrence by decreasing order of PAR with their adjusted OR (95% CI) were hypertension, 66.63 (20.78-213.72); dyslipidemia, 2.95 (1.84-4.74); meat consumption, 1.55 (1.01-2.38); family history of CVD, 2.22 (1.41-3.50); nonconsumption of green vegetables, 3.61 (2.07-6.31); diabetes mellitus, 2.11 (1.29-3.46); stress, 1.68 (1.03-2.77); and current tobacco use, 14.27 (2.09-97.47). Factors associated with severe sICH using an NIH Stroke Scale score >15 with adjusted OR (95% CI) were nonconsumption of leafy green vegetables, 2.03 (1.43-2.88); systolic blood pressure for each mm Hg rise, 1.01 (1.00-1.01); presence of midline shift, 1.54 (1.11-2.13); lobar ICH, 1.72 (1.16-2.55); and supratentorial bleeds, 2.17 (1.06-4.46).

Conclusions: Population-level control of the dominant factors will substantially mitigate the burden of sICH in West Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000009056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238923PMC
March 2020

Unraveling the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Neurobiobanking and Stroke Genomic Research in Africa: A Study Protocol of the African Neurobiobank for Precision Stroke Medicine ELSI Project.

Int J Qual Methods 2020 Jan-Dec;19. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Neuroscience and Ageing Research Unit, Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of emerging neurobiobanks and data resources are unclear in an African scientific landscape with unique cultural, linguistic, and belief systems. The overarching goal of the African Neurobiobank for Precision Stroke Medicine-ELSI Project is to identify, examine, and develop novel approaches to address ELSI issues of biobanking and stroke genomic research in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). To accomplish the goal we will (1) explore knowledge, attitude, perceptions, barriers, and facilitators influencing ELSI issues related to biobanking and stroke genomic research; (2) use information obtained to craft a community intervention program focused on ELSI issues; and (3) build capacity and careers related to genomics and biobanking for effective client/community engagement while enhancing regulatory, governance, and implementation competences in biobanking science in SSA. A community-based participatory research and mixed-methodological approach, focused on various levels of the social ecological model, will be used to identify and examine relevant ELSI issues. Contextual intervention tools, platforms, and practices will be developed to enhance community understanding and participation in stroke biobanking and genomics research activities while facilitating enduring trust, and equitable and fair utilization of biobanking resources for genetic and trans-omics research. A concurrent capacity building program related to genetic counseling and biobanking will be implemented for early career researchers. The huge potential for neurobiobanking and genomics research in Africa to advance precision medicine applicable to stroke and other neurological disorders requires addressing ELSI challenges while building sustainable research, career, and regulatory capacities in trans-omics and biobanking science.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1609406920923194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8284747PMC
June 2020

Impact of a community-based approach to patient engagement in rural, low-income adults with type 2 diabetes.

Public Health Nurs 2020 03 13;37(2):178-187. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing, South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Charleston, SC, USA.

Objective: This secondary analysis examined the relationships between Patient Activation Measure (PAM) scores, use of health services, and HgA1C.

Design: A feasibility study was conducted for a community-based intervention for high-risk adults with uncontrolled diabetes. Data were collected at baseline and monthly, including PAM and modified Diabetes Self-Management Assessment Report Tool.

Intervention: Participants (n = 58) were randomized to a 3-month nurse (RN) telephone management or community health worker (CHW) in-home intervention, focusing on medication adherence, timely follow-up, diabetes self-management coaching, and linkage to resources.

Results: Sample was mostly female (73%), African-American (90%), low income (75%), high school education or less (80%), and mean age of 59 years. A positive association between PAM score and self-reported diabetes care recommendations was found (r = .356, p = .014) and significant correlation between baseline PAM score and HgA1C levels (r = -.306, p = .029). A paired samples t test showed statistically significant increases in PAM scores in the CHW intervention group (mean increase +8.5, CI [+2.49 to +14.65]); baseline (M = 60.31, SD = 13.3) to end of study ([M = 68.89, SD = 16.39], t(22) = 2.924, p = .008 [two-tailed]).

Conclusion: A community-based approach to diabetes management demonstrated a positive effect on patient activation. Although disparities in health care access among rural, low-income populations exist, community-based interventions show potential for improving patient engagement in diabetes management and recommended health services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/phn.12693DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7067669PMC
March 2020

Post-intervention qualitative assessment of mobile health technology to manage hypertension among Ghanaian stroke survivors.

J Neurol Sci 2019 Nov 13;406:116462. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States of America. Electronic address:

Stroke is a leading cause of death in Africa and a key modifiable risk factor for the index and recurrent stroke is through the adequate management of blood pressure. Recent guidelines encourage management beyond clinic settings, yet implementation of these guidelines can be challenging, especially in resource constrained regions, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mobile health technology may offer an innovative and cost-effective approach to improve BP monitoring and facilitate adherence to antihypertensive medications. Stroke survivors (n = 16) and their caregivers (n = 8) who participated in a 3-month feasibility study were invited to share post-intervention insights via focus groups (n = 3). Clinician (n = 7) input on intervention delivery and clinical impressions was also obtained via a separate focus group (n = 1). Four major themes emerged highlighting the ability to self-monitor, the use of technology as an interventional tool, training and support, and post-intervention adherence. Overwhelming receptivity toward home blood pressure monitoring and the use of mobile health (mHealth) was noted. Feedback indicated benefits in having access to equipment and that message prompts facilitated adherence. Post-intervention adherence declined following study intervention, indicating a need for increased exposure to facilitate long-term behavioral change, although participants conveyed a heightened awareness of the importance of BP monitoring and lifestyle changes needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2019.116462DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7653548PMC
November 2019

Erratum to stroke patients and their attitudes toward mHealth monitoring to support blood pressure control and medication adherence.

Mhealth 2019;5:13. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

Colleges of Nursing and Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.21037/mhealth.2016.05.04.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/mhealth.2019.05.05DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6624351PMC
June 2019

Barriers and Facilitators of Stroke Recovery: Perspectives From African Americans With Stroke, Caregivers and Healthcare Professionals.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2019 Sep 27;28(9):2506-2516. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Introduction And Goal: Stroke is a serious health condition that disproportionally affects African-Americans relative to non-Hispanic whites. In the absence of clearly defined reasons for racial disparities in stroke recovery and subsequent stroke outcomes, a critical first step in mitigating poor stroke outcomes is to explore potential barriers and facilitators of poststroke recovery in African-American adults with stroke. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore poststroke recovery across the care continuum from the perspective of African-American adults with stroke, caregivers of African-American adults with stroke, and health care professionals with expertise in stroke care.

Materials And Methods: This qualitative descriptive study included in-depth key informant interviews with health care providers (n = 10) and focus groups with persons with stroke (n = 20 persons) and their family members or caregivers (n = 19 persons). Data were analyzed using thematic analysis according to the Social Ecological Model, using both inductive and deductive approaches.

Findings: Persons with stroke and their caregivers identified social support, resources, and knowledge as the most salient factors associated with stroke recovery. Perceived barriers to recovery included: (1) physical and cognitive deficits, mood; (2) medication issues; (3) lack of support and resources; (4) stigma, culture, and faith. Health care providers identified knowledge/information, care coordination, and resources in the community as key to facilitating stroke recovery outcomes.

Conclusions: Key findings from this study can be incorporated into interventions designed to improve poststroke recovery outcomes and potentially reduce the current racial-ethnic disparity gap.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2019.06.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6825439PMC
September 2019

Echocardiographic Abnormalities and Determinants of 1-Month Outcome of Stroke Among West Africans in the SIREN Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2019 06 30;8(11):e010814. Epub 2019 May 30.

1 Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine University of Ibadan Ibadan Nigeria.

Background Little is known about the relationship between echocardiographic abnormalities and outcome among patients with acute stroke. We investigated the pattern and association of baseline echocardiographic variables with 1-month disability and mortality among patients with stroke in the SIREN (Stroke Investigative Research and Education Network) study. Methods and Results We enrolled and followed up consecutive 1020 adult patients with acute stroke with baseline transthoracic echocardiography from west Africa. To explore the relationship between echocardiographic variables and 1-month disability (using modified Rankin scale >3) and fatality, regression models were fitted. Relative risks were computed with 95% CIs. The participants comprised 60% men with a mean age of 59.2±14.6 years. Ischemic stroke was associated with smaller aortic root diameter (30.2 versus 32.5, P=0.018) and septal (16.8 versus 19.1, P<0.001) and posterior wall thickness at systole (18.9 versus 21.5, P=0.004). Over 90% of patients with stroke had abnormal left ventricular (LV) geometry with eccentric hypertrophy predominating (56.1%). Of 13 candidate variables investigated, only baseline abnormal LV geometry (concentric hypertrophy) was weakly associated with 1-month disability (unadjusted relative risk, 1.80; 95% CI , 0.97-5.73). Severe LV systolic dysfunction was significantly associated with increased 1-month mortality (unadjusted relative risk, 3.05; 95% CI , 1.36-6.83). Conclusions Nine of 10 patients with acute stroke had abnormal LV geometry and a third had systolic dysfunction. Severe LV systolic dysfunction was significantly associated with 1 month mortality. Larger studies are required to establish the independent effect and unravel predictive accuracy of this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.118.010814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6585359PMC
June 2019

Characteristics of hypertension among people living with HIV in Ghana: Impact of new hypertension guideline.

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2019 06 24;21(6):838-850. Epub 2019 May 24.

University of California, San Francisco, California.

Data on the burden of hypertension among people living with HIV (PLWH) in Africa are limited, especially after new expert consensus hypertension guidelines were published in 2017. The authors sought to assess the prevalence and factors associated with hypertension among PLWH. This is a cross-sectional study involving PLWH on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) (n = 250) compared with sex-matched cART-naïve PLWH (n = 201) in Ghana. Hypertension was defined as blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mm Hg or use of antihypertensive drugs. The authors also assessed the prevalence and predictors associated with hypertension using the recent guideline recommended cutoff BP ≥ 130/80 mm Hg. Multivariate logistic regression models were fitted to identify factors associated with hypertension among PLWH. The mean age of PLWH on cART was 45.7 ± 8.6 years, and 42.9 ± 8.8 years among PLWH cART-naive with 81% of study participants being women. The prevalence of hypertension among PLWH on cART and PLWH cART-naïve was 36.9% and 23.4%, P = 0.002 at BP ≥ 140/90 mm Hg and 57.2% and 42.3%, respectively, P = 0.0009, at BP ≥ 130/80 mm Hg. Factors associated with hypertension at BP ≥ 140/90 mm Hg in the PLWH group with adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) were increasing age, 2.08 (1.60-2.71) per 10 years, and body mass index, 1.53 (1.24-1.88) per 5 kg/m rise. At BP ≥ 130/80 mm Hg, cART exposure, aOR of 1.77 (95% CI: 1.20-2.63), family history of hypertension, aOR of 1.43 (1.12-1.83), and hypertriglyceridemia, aOR of 0.54 (0.31-0.93), were associated with hypertension. Among PLWH, cART exposure was associated with higher prevalence of hypertension per the new guideline definition, a finding which warrants further investigation and possible mitigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jch.13561DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6699754PMC
June 2019

Evaluation of Vascular Event Risk while on Long-term Anti-retroviral Suppressive Therapy [EVERLAST]: Protocol for a prospective observational study.

eNeurologicalSci 2019 Jun 5;15:100189. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Background & Objective: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among the HIV population is high due to a combination of accelerated atherosclerosis from the pro-inflammatory milieu created by chronic HIV infection and the potentially adverse metabolic side effects from cART (combination antiretroviral therapy) medications. Although sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) bears 70% of the global burden of HIV disease, there is a relative paucity of studies comprehensively assessing CVD risk among people living with HIV on the continent. The overarching objective of the Evaluation of Vascular Event Risk while on Long-term Anti-retroviral Suppressive Therapy (EVERLAST) Study is to characterize the burden of CVD among HIV patients on ART in Ghana, and explore factors influencing it.

Methods: The EVERLAST study incorporates prospective CVD risk assessments and a convergent mixed methods approach. This prospective study will evaluate CVD risk by measuring Carotid Intimal Media Thickness (CIMT) and presence of traditional medical and lifestyle vascular risk among 240 Ghanaian HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy compared with age- and sex-matched HIV uninfected ( = 240) and HIV positive ART naïve controls (n = 240). A contextual qualitative analysis will also be conducted to determine attitudes/perceptions of various key local stakeholders about CVD risk among HIV patients. The primary outcome measure will be CIMT measured cross-sectionally and prospectively among the three groups. A host of secondary outcome variables including CVD risk factors, CVD risk equations, HIV associated neurocognitive dysfunction and psychological well-being will also be assessed.

Conclusion: EVERLAST will provide crucial insights into the unique contributions of ART exposure and environmental factors such as lifestyle, traditional beliefs, and socio-economic indicators to CVD risk among HIV patients in a resource-limited setting. Ultimately, findings from our study will be utilized to develop interventions that will be tested in a randomized controlled trial to provide evidence to guide CVD risk management in SSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ensci.2019.100189DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6460293PMC
June 2019

Differential Impact of Risk Factors on Stroke Occurrence Among Men Versus Women in West Africa.

Stroke 2019 04;50(4):820-827

Centre for Genomic and Precision Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria (R.A., A.A., M.O.).

Background and Purpose- The interplay between sex and the dominant risk factors for stroke occurrence in sub-Saharan Africa has not been clearly delineated. We compared the effect sizes of risk factors of stroke by sex among West Africans. Methods- SIREN study (Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Networks) is a case-control study conducted at 15 sites in Ghana and Nigeria. Cases were adults aged >18 years with computerized tomography/magnetic resonance imaging confirmed stroke, and controls were age- and sex-matched stroke-free adults. Comprehensive evaluation for vascular, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors was performed using validated tools. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate odds ratios and reported risk factor specific and composite population attributable risks with 95% CIs. Results- Of the 2118 stroke cases, 1193 (56.3%) were males. The mean±SD age of males was 58.1±13.2 versus 60.15±14.53 years among females. Shared modifiable risk factors for stroke with adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) among females versus males, respectively, were hypertension [29.95 (12.49-71.77) versus 16.1 0(9.19-28.19)], dyslipidemia [2.08 (1.42-3.06) versus 1.83 (1.29-2.59)], diabetes mellitus [3.18 (2.11-4.78) versus 2.19 (1.53-3.15)], stress [2.34 (1.48-3.67) versus 1.61 (1.07-2.43)], and low consumption of green leafy vegetables [2.92 (1.89-4.50) versus 2.00 (1.33-3.00)]. However, salt intake and income were significantly different between males and females. Six modifiable factors had a combined population attributable risk of 99.1% (98.3%-99.6%) among females with 9 factors accounting for 97.2% (94.9%-98.7%) among males. Hemorrhagic stroke was more common among males (36.0%) than among females (27.6%), but stroke was less severe among males than females. Conclusions- Overall, risk factors for stroke occurrence are commonly shared by both sexes in West Africa favoring concerted interventions for stroke prevention in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.022786DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6433514PMC
April 2019

Prevalence, Trajectory, and Predictors of Poststroke Fatigue among Ghanaians.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2019 May 21;28(5):1353-1361. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

University of California, San Francisco, California.

Background And Purpose: Poststroke fatigue (PSF) is rife among stroke survivors and it exerts a detrimental toll on recovery from functional deficits. The burden of PSF is unknown in sub-Saharan Africa. We have assessed the prevalence, trajectory, and predictors of PSF among 60 recent Ghanaian stroke patients.

Methods: Study participants in this prospective cohort (recruited between January 2017 and June 2017) were stroke survivors, aged greater than 18 years, with CT scan confirmed stroke of less than 1-month onset. PSF was assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) at enrollment, months 3, 6, and 9. Those with a score of greater than or equal to 4 points on FSS were categorized as "fatigued." A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of PSF at enrollment and at month 9.

Results: Sixty-five percent (65%) of our sample were males with a mean age of 55.1 ± 12.7 years. In addition to all participants having hypertension, 85% had dyslipidemia and 25% had diabetes mellitus. Ischemic strokes comprised 76.6% of the study population. The prevalence of PSF was 58.9% at baseline and declined to 23.6% at month 9, P = .0002. Diabetes mellitus was significantly associated with PSF at baseline with an adjusted odds ratio of 15.12 (95% CI: 1.70-134.30), P = .01. However, at month 9, age greater than or equal to 65 years, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 7.02 (95% CI: 1.16-42.52); female sex, aOR of 8.52 (1.23-59.16), and depression, aOR of 8.86 (1.19-65.88) were independently associated with PSF.

Conclusions: Approximately 6 out of 10 Ghanaian stroke survivors experience PSF within the first month of stroke onset. PSF persists in approximately 1 out of 4 stroke survivors at 10 months after the index stroke. Further studies to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for PSF are required and adequately powered interventional multicenter trials are eagerly awaited to provide solid evidence base for the clinical management of PSF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2019.02.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6467808PMC
May 2019

Burden of subclinical carotid atherosclerosis and vascular risk factors among people living with HIV in Ghana.

J Neurol Sci 2019 02 19;397:103-111. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Background: The burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among people living with HIV (PLWH) in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to rise due to a rapid epidemiological transition and improved treatment of HIV infection on the sub-continent.

Objective: The Evaluation of Vascular Event Risk while on Long-term Anti-retroviral Suppressive Therapy (EVERLAST) Study sought to assess the extent of subclinical atherosclerosis and characterize the nature of CVD risk factors among HIV patients on Antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Ghana.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy (n = 250) in comparison with HIV positive ART naïve (n = 201), and HIV uninfected controls (n = 250). We assessed prevalence of hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, central obesity, and carotid atherosclerosis using B-mode carotid Doppler ultrasonography. We assessed factors associated with subclinical atherosclerosis defined by a carotid intimal media thickness (CIMT) cut-off of ≥0.78 mm among PLWH using a logistic regression model.

Results: Mean age of PLWH on combination ART (cART) was 45.7 ± 8.6 years, 42.9 ± 8.8 years among PLWH not on cART, and 44.9 ± 9.5 years among HIV negative controls of which 81.2%, 81.6% and 81.1% respectively were females. Prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis at the common carotid artery in the three groups was 67.6%, 66.7% and 62.4%, p = 0.43. Among PLWH, raised serum total cholesterol (OR 1.16, 95% CI: 1.00-1.35) and triglycerides (OR 1.32, 95% CI: 1.01-1.73) were significantly associated with subclinical atherosclerosis. Prevalence of vascular risk factors among PLWH on cART, PLWH cART naïve, and HIV negative controls respectively were as follows: dyslipidemia- 79.5%, 83.1%, and 73.5%, p = 0.04; hypertension- 40.2%, 23.4%, and 44.9%, p < 0.0001; central obesity-61.8%, 66.7%, and 78.2%, p < 0.0001; diabetes mellitus-6.8%, 5.5% and 4.9%, p = 0.53.

Conclusion: Overall while there is a high baseline prevalence of CVD risk factors in the Ghanaian population, serum lipid derangements appear to be more prevalent among HIV infected patients, and are linked to sub-clinical atherosclerosis. Future studies need to confirm these findings, explore the underlying pathophysiology, and optimize treatment strategies to avert untoward CVD outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2018.12.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6368351PMC
February 2019

Phone-based intervention for blood pressure control among Ghanaian stroke survivors: A pilot randomized controlled trial.

Int J Stroke 2019 08 22;14(6):630-638. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

3 Neurology Unit, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

Background: The potential of mobile-health (mHealth) technology for the management of hypertension among stroke survivors in Africa remains unexplored. We assessed whether an mHealth technology-enabled, nurse-guided intervention initiated among stroke patients within one month of symptom onset is effective in improving their blood pressure (BP) control.

Methods: A two-arm pilot cluster randomized controlled trial involving 60 stroke survivors, ≥18 years, with BP ≥140/90 mmHg at screening/enrollment visit at a medical center in Ghana. Participants in the intervention arm (n = 30) received a Blue-toothed BP device and smartphone with an App for monitoring BP measurements and medication intake under nurse guidance for three months after which intervention was withdrawn. Control arm (n = 30) received usual care. Primary outcome measure was proportion with clinic BP < 140/90 mmHg at month 9; secondary outcomes included medication adherence.

Findings: Mean ± SD age was 55 ± 13 years, 65% males. Two participants on intervention and three in control group were lost to follow-up. At month 9, proportion on the intervention versus controls with BP < 140/90 mmHg was 14/30 (46.7%) versus 12/30 (40.0%), p = 0.79 by intention-to-treat; systolic BP < 140 mmHg was 22/30 (73.3%) versus 13/30 (43.3%), p = 0.035. Mean ± SD medication possession ratio was 0.95 ± 0.16 on intervention versus 0.98 ± 0.24 in the control arm, p = 0.56.

Interpretation: We demonstrate feasibility and signal of improvement in BP control among stroke survivors in a resource-limited setting via an mHealth intervention. Larger scale studies are warranted.

Trial Registration: NCT02568137. Registered on 13 July 2015 at ClinicalTrials.gov.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493018816423DOI Listing
August 2019

Knowledge, attitudes and practices related to stroke in Ghana and Nigeria: A SIREN call to action.

PLoS One 2018 16;13(11):e0206548. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

University of Ghana Medical School, Accra, Ghana.

Introduction: Stroke is a prominent cause of death, disability, and dementia in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The Stroke Investigative Research and Education Network works collaboratively with stroke survivors and individuals serving as community controls to comprehensively characterize the genomic, sociocultural, economic and behavioral risk factors for stroke in SSA.

Purpose: In this paper, we aim to: i) explore the attitudes, beliefs, and practices related to stroke in Ghana and Nigeria using the process of qualitative description; and ii) propose actions for future research and community-based participation and education.

Methods: Stroke survivors, their caregivers, health care professionals, and community representatives and faith-based leaders participated in one of twenty-six focus groups, which qualitatively explored community beliefs, attitudes and practices related to stroke in Ghana and Nigeria. Arthur Kleinman's Explanatory Model of Illness and the Social Ecological Model guided the questions and/or thematic analysis of the qualitative data. We hereby describe our focus group methods and analyses of qualitative data, as well as the findings and suggestions for improving stroke outcomes.

Results And Discussion: The major findings illustrate the fears, causes, chief problems, treatment, and recommendations related to stroke through the views of the participants, as well as recommendations for working effectively with the SIREN communities. Findings are compared to SIREN quantitative data and other qualitative studies in Africa. As far as we are aware, this is the first paper to qualitatively explore and contrast community beliefs, attitudes, and practices among stroke survivors and their caregivers, community and faith-based leaders, and health professionals in multiple communities within Nigeria and Ghana.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0206548PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6239297PMC
April 2019

Screening for Physical Activity and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Among Rural African-American Women.

J Natl Black Nurses Assoc 2017 Dec;28(2):1-6

College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

Physical inactivity can have major implications for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are leading causes of morbidity among African-American women. Recruiting in rural populations can present challenges and strategies that work in one community but may not be successful in another community. This study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and implementation of community-based screening using an abbreviated Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) Risk Factor self-report survey in a geographic region where these data were previously unavailable. Participants (N = 32) included African-American/Black women, 21 years of age or older, who attended health screening events in a rural county in South Carolina. Findings from this study demonstrated the feasibility of community-based cardiometabolic risk screenings using an abbreviated REACH Risk Factor survey and linking participants to follow-up primary care. Findings also provide insight into recruitment strategies in this geographic region.
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December 2017

Knowledge, attitudes and practices of West Africans on genetic studies of stroke: Evidence from the SIREN Study.

Int J Stroke 2019 01 24;14(1):69-79. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

7 Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.

Background: It is crucial to assess genomic literacy related to stroke among Africans in preparation for the ethical, legal and societal implications of the genetic revolution which has begun in Africa.

Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of West Africans about stroke genetic studies.

Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted among stroke patients and stroke-free controls recruited across 15 sites in Ghana and Nigeria. Participants' knowledge of heritability of stroke, willingness to undergo genetic testing and perception of the potential benefits of stroke genetic research were assessed using interviewer-administered questionnaire. Descriptive, frequency distribution and multiple regression analyses were performed.

Results: Only 49% of 2029 stroke patients and 57% of 2603 stroke-free individuals knew that stroke was a heritable disorder. Among those who knew, 90% were willing to undergo genetic testing. Knowledge of stroke heritability was associated with having at least post-secondary education (OR 1.51, 1.25-1.81) and a family history of stroke (OR 1.20, 1.03-1.39) while Islamic religion (OR=0.82, CI: 0.72-0.94), being currently unmarried (OR = 0.81, CI: 0.70-0.92), and alcohol use (OR = 0.78, CI: 0.67-0.91) were associated with lower odds of awareness of stroke as a heritable disorder. Willingness to undergo genetic testing for stroke was associated with having a family history of stroke (OR 1.34, 1.03-1.74) but inversely associated with a medical history of high blood pressure (OR = 0.79, 0.65-0.96).

Conclusion: To further improve knowledge of stroke heritability and willingness to embrace genetic testing for stroke, individuals with less formal education, history of high blood pressure and no family history of stroke require targeted interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493018790059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8325169PMC
January 2019

Technology as a Means to Address Disparities in Mental Health Research: A Guide to "Tele-Tailoring" your Research Methods.

Prof Psychol Res Pr 2018 Feb;49(1):57-64

College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, SC.

We must include rural participants in health-related research if we are to address health-related disparities and inequity, particularly in mental health. However, the first step of the research process, in person, witnessed, signed informed consent is often a limiting factor and insurmountable barrier to precisely the type of research (e.g., telehealth) designed to overcome barriers of geographic distance and travel time. Telehealth, or the provision of medical care or services to patients by means of audio/video and procedure-specific technology, addresses some barriers to health created by rurality by making health care professionals more accessible to patients. A logical complement to telehealth is "teleconsent." Teleconsent can be defined as using remote, facial integrated identity verification to allow (a) remote guidance of participants through consent documents, and (b) digital signing by all parties, obviating the need for in person signed consent. The ability to review and sign consent documents via telehealth with synchronous viewing is a novel, innovative means by which to overcome the initial significant barrier to recruitment of rural participants into healthcare research. By leveraging the growing capabilities of telehealth, teletailoring studies can improve the efficiency of research recruitment and facilitate the consent process for under-represented populations in research. Strategies for implementation are clearly relevant to increasing the success of clinical trial recruitment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pro0000176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6052868PMC
February 2018

Gaps in Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Low- and Middle-Income Versus High-Income Countries-A Systematic Review.

Diabetes Care 2018 05;41(5):1097-1105

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Objective: The extent to which diabetes (DM) practice guidelines, often based on evidence from high-income countries (HIC), can be implemented to improve outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is a critical challenge. We carried out a systematic review to compare type 2 DM guidelines in individual LMIC versus HIC over the past decade to identify aspects that could be improved to facilitate implementation.

Research Design And Methods: Eligible guidelines were sought from online databases and websites of diabetes associations and ministries of health. Type 2 DM guidelines published between 2006 and 2016 with accessible full publications were included. Each of the 54 eligible guidelines was assessed for compliance with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) standards, coverage of the cardiovascular quadrangle (epidemiologic surveillance, prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation), translatability, and its target audiences.

Results: Most LMIC guidelines were inadequate in terms of applicability, clarity, and dissemination plan as well as socioeconomic and ethical-legal contextualization. LMIC guidelines targeted mainly health care providers, with only a few including patients (7%), payers (11%), and policy makers (18%) as their target audiences. Compared with HIC guidelines, the spectrum of DM clinical care addressed by LMIC guidelines was narrow. Most guidelines from the LMIC complied with less than half of the IOM standards, with 12% of the LMIC guidelines satisfying at least four IOM criteria as opposed to 60% of the HIC guidelines ( < 0.001).

Conclusions: A new approach to the contextualization, content development, and delivery of LMIC guidelines is needed to improve outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc17-1795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5911785PMC
May 2018

Stroke Among Young West Africans: Evidence From the SIREN (Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network) Large Multisite Case-Control Study.

Stroke 2018 05 4;49(5):1116-1122. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Department of Neurology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston (B.O., M.G., C.J.).

Background And Purpose: Stroke in lower and middle-income countries affects a young and productive age group. Data on factors associated with stroke in the young are sorely lacking from lower and middle-income countries. Our objective is to characterize the nature of stroke and its risk factors among young West Africans aged <50 years old.

Methods: The SIREN (Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network) is a multicenter, case-control study involving 15 sites in Nigeria and Ghana. Cases included adults aged ≥18 years with computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed stroke. Controls were age-and gender-matched stroke-free adults recruited from the communities in catchment areas of cases. Comprehensive evaluation for vascular, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors was performed. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate odds ratios and population attributable risks with 95% confidence intervals.

Results: Five hundred fifteen (24.3%) out of 2118 cases enrolled were <50 years old. Among subjects <50 years old, hemorrhagic stroke proportion was 270 (52.5%) versus 245 (47.5%) for ischemic strokes. Etiologic subtypes of ischemic strokes included large artery atherosclerosis (40.0%), small vessel disease (28.6%), cardioembolism (11.0%), and undetermined (20.4%). Hypertension (91.7%), structural lesions (3.4%), and others (4.9%) were causally associated with hemorrhagic stroke. Six topmost modifiable factors associated with stroke in descending order of population attributable risk (95% confidence interval) were hypertension: 88.7% (82.5%-94.8%), dyslipidemia: 48.2% (30.6%-65.9%), diabetes mellitus: 22.6% (18.7%-26.5%), low green vegetable consumption: 18.2% (-6.8%-43.2%), stress: 14.5% (4.9%-24.1%), and cardiac disease: 8.4% (5.8%-11.1%).

Conclusions: The high and rising burden of stroke among young Africans should be curtailed via aggressive, population-wide vascular risk factor control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.020783DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916042PMC
May 2018

The epidemiology of stroke in Africa: A systematic review of existing methods and new approaches.

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2018 01 11;20(1):47-55. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

Accurate epidemiological surveillance of the burden of stroke is direly needed to facilitate the development and evaluation of effective interventions in Africa. The authors therefore conducted a systematic review of the methodology of stroke epidemiological studies conducted in Africa from 1970 to 2017 using gold standard criteria obtained from landmark epidemiological publications. Of 1330 articles extracted, only 50 articles were eligible for review grouped under incidence, prevalence, case-fatality, health-related quality of life, and disability-adjusted life-years studies. Because of various challenges, no study fulfilled the criteria for an excellent stroke incidence study. The relatively few stroke epidemiology studies in Africa have significant methodological flaws. Innovative approaches leveraging available information and communication technology infrastructure are recommended to facilitate rigorous epidemiological studies for accurate stroke surveillance in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jch.13152DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777902PMC
January 2018
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