Date of Award

Spring 4-7-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Ann Cralidis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Alison King, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Erin Wallace, Ph.D.


Stroke, also sometimes referred to as a brain attack, occurs when there is a blockage in blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel bursts within the brain (CDC, 2022). Rural populations have a higher incidence of stroke and higher stroke mortality in the United States (Howard et al., 2017). Although there is a higher incidence rate of stroke in rural populations, researchers have also found that these populations appear to have limited knowledge on stroke and its risk factors. The current study employed a non-experimental descriptive design that explored stroke knowledge in adults residing in rural populations in the United States via an online survey.

The survey consisted of multiple choice, multiple selection, short answer, and true/false questions that examined the participants’ demographic information such as age, race, ethnicity, gender, education levels, current health status (i.e., current, and past diagnoses), and current city of residence, as well as a knowledge check designed to assess participants’ knowledge of risk factors and warning signs of stroke.

This study showed that respondents residing in rural populations with less stroke risk factors had less knowledge of stroke risk factors. Improving stroke knowledge in rural populations is crucial for reducing stroke-related mortality in rural communities.



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