Table 3

Initial response, perception of symptoms and general knowledge of TIA, in 93 patients suspected of TIA, divided in those with a certain or probably TIA/minor stroke, and in those with no or possibly TIA according to the neurologist*

Interview itemTotalCertain or probably TIA/minor strokeNo or possibly TIA/minor stroke
(n=93)(n=48)(n=34)
n (%)n (%)*n (%)*
Initial response to symptoms
Initial response
 Wait and see54 (58.1)27 (56.3)20 (58.8)
 Direct call to healthcare provider18 (19.4)8 (16.7)6 (17.7)
 Asking a relative for advice17 (18.3)10 (20.8)7 (20.6)
 Other4 (4.4)3 (6.2)1 (2.9)
Reasons for not seeking medical attention within 1 hour (n=65)
 Symptoms had disappeared27 (41.5)15 (45.5)10 (41.7)
 Symptoms not considered as threatening15 (23.1)8 (24.2)6 (25.0)
 Convinced that symptoms would resolve spontaneously9 (13.8)4 (12.1)3 (12.5)
 Because it occurred during out of office hours4 (6.2)2 (6.1)1 (4.2)
 Other10 (15.4)4 (12.1)4 (16.6)
Perception of symptoms
Interpreted as an emergency30 (32.3)17 (35.4)8 (23.5)
Considered a TIA as possible cause37 (39.8)16 (33.3)14 (41.2)
Experienced severity of symptoms on a scale from 0 to 10 (n=90)
 1–432 (35.6)15 (32.6)16 (48.5)
 5–735 (38.9)20 (43.5)9 (27.3)
 8–1023 (25.5)11 (23.9)8 (24.2)
Knowledge of TIA
Ever heard of a TIA76 (87.1)35 (72.9)30 (88.2)
Correctly knowing key TIA symptoms63 (57.0)24 (50.0)20 (58.8)
Considers rapid treatment (within 24 hours) necessary54 (58.1)25 (52.1)22 (64.7)
Knows that TIA may be a precursor of stroke44 (47.3)22 (45.8)17 (50.0)
  • *No significant differences between the ‘certain or probable TIA/minor stroke’ patients and ‘no or possible TIA’ patients were found, applying χ2 tests.

  • †In 11 patients a definite neurologist’s diagnosis could not be retrieved from the medical files.

  • TIA, transient ischaemic attack.