When a group of Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston research staff and students began translating a stroke education video from English into Spanish, they realized they needed to change more than just words.
Thus was born a multidisciplinary project to create a Spanish-language acronym and graphic to build awareness of stroke signs and symptoms for an at-risk population.
Jennifer Beauchamp, PhD, RN, an associate professor in the Department of Research and the Nancy B. Willerson Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Public Health at Cizik School of Nursing, led a collaboration that included researchers from McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and the UTHealth Houston Institute for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease.
“Hispanics have a higher stroke incidence and recurrence and are less likely to know the signs and symptoms of stroke compared to non-Hispanic whites,” she said. “We hope by creating this acronym, we are able to shed light on the need to educate those more vulnerable to having a stroke so they can understand the signs and symptoms and get help fast before it is too late.”
For English speakers, the acronym “FAST” is widely used to educate the public in detecting symptoms of a stroke. FAST stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties, and Time. Beauchamp said when this memorization tool is directly translated into Spanish, it is not as effective.
The team’s new acronym, RÁPIDO©, stands for:
R – Rostro caído (facial drooping)
A – Alteración del equilibrio (changes in equilibrium or balance)
P – Pérdida de fuerza en un brazo o pierna (loss of strength in arm or leg)
I – Impedimento visual (visual impairment)
D – Dificultad para hablar (difficulty speaking)
O – Obtenga ayuda RÁPIDO, llame al 911 (get help fast, call 911)
A video presentation proposal for RÁPIDO won first place at the International Neuroscience Nursing Research Symposium in March 2021. The team is still in the preliminary stage of research and is seeking additional funding to investigate the effectiveness of the acronym within the Spanish-speaking community before implementing it in stroke education programs.
However, they hope that someday RÁPIDO, like FAST, will be used nationwide.
“Research shows Hispanics are dying at a faster rate and having second and even third strokes. So, if there is something we can do to raise stroke awareness in an at risk population, then we will do it,” said Beauchamp.
Additional UTHealth Houston authors on the proposal included Anjail Sharrief, MD, MPH; Andrea Ancer Leal, BSN, RN, LMSW; Tahani Casameni-Montiel, BBA; and Alejandra Castro, BSN, RN, with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.