Are patient educational resources effective at deterring stroke survivors from considering experimental stem cell treatments? A randomized controlled trial

D. J. Unsworth, J. L. Mathias, D. S. Dorstyn, S. A. Koblar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate whether online resources developed to educate people about the risks associated with experimental stem cell (SC) treatments influence stroke survivors’ attitudes about the safety and effectiveness of these treatments. Methods: Adult stroke survivors who had not previously received SC treatments (N = 112) were recruited from international stroke advocacy/support groups for a prospective, parallel-group randomized controlled trial. Participants indicated whether they were considering SC treatments (yes/no) prior to, immediately following, and 30-days after reading/viewing the International Society for Stem Cell Research booklet or Stem Cell Network video. Participant attitudes regarding the safety, effectiveness, accessibility and affordability of SC treatments were examined on each occasion, and compared to those of a waitlist control group. Results: Significantly fewer participants were considering SC treatments immediately after reading the SC research booklet (p =.031), although neither intervention had any impact after 30-days (p >.05). Waitlist and intervention groups reported positive attitudes toward SC treatments at each assessment. Conclusions: Stroke survivor attitudes toward SC treatments were initially influenced by the patient booklet, however these changes were not maintained. Practical Implications: Clinicians are encouraged to initiate discussions about experimental SC treatments during inpatient rehabilitation and to reinforce the risks throughout subsequent care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1373-1381
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Medical tourism
  • Patient education
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Stem cells
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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