Effect of 5-minute movies shown via a mobile phone app on risk factors and mortality after stroke in a low- to middle-income country: Randomized controlled trial for the stroke caregiver dyad education intervention (Movies4Stroke)

Ayeesha Kamran Kamal, Aga Khan University
Adeel Khoja, Aga Khan University
Bushra Usmani, Aga Khan University
Shahvaiz Magsi, Aga Khan University
Aresha Malani, Aga Khan University
Zahra Peera, Aga Khan University
Saadia Sattar, Aga Khan University
Masood Ahmed Akram, Aga Khan University
Sumaira Shahnawaz, Aga Khan University
Maryam Zulfiqar, Aga Khan University
Abdul Muqeet, Aga Khan Development Network, eHealth Resource Center, Karachi, Pakistan
Fabiha Zaidi, Aga Khan Development Network, eHealth Resource Center, Karachi, Pakistan
Saleem Sayani, Aga Khan University
Azmina Artani, Aga Khan University
Syed Iqbal Azam, Aga Khan University
Sarah Saleem, Aga Khan University


Background: Pakistan is the sixth most populous nation in the world and has an estimated 4 million stroke survivors. Most survivors are taken care of by community-based caregivers, and there are no inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of locally designed 5-min movies rolled out in order of relevance that are thematically delivered in a 3-month program to deliver poststroke education to stroke survivor and caregiver dyads returning to the community.

Methods: This study was a randomized controlled, outcome assessor–blinded, parallel group, single-center superiority trial in which participants (stroke survivor-caregiver dyads) with first-ever stroke (both ischemic and hemorrhagic) incidence were randomized within 48 hours of their stroke into either the video-based education intervention group or the control group. The video-based education intervention group had health education delivered through short videos that were shown to the participants and their caregivers at the time of admission, before discharge, and the first and third months of follow-up after discharge. The control group had standardized care including predischarge education and counseling according to defined protocols. All participants enrolled in the video education intervention and control groups were followed for 12 months after discharge for outcome assessment in the outpatient stroke clinics. The primary outcome measures were the proportion of participants achieving control of blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol in the video intervention versus the control group. Several predefined secondary outcomes were included in this study, of which we report the mortality and functional disability in this paper. Analysis was by performed using the intention-to-treat principle.

Results: A total of 310 stroke survivors and their caregiver dyads (participant dyads) were recruited over a duration of 6 months. In total, 155 participant dyads were randomized into the intervention and control groups, each. The primary outcome of control of three major risk factors revealed that at 12 months, there was a greater percentage of participants with a systolic BP(18/54, 33% vs 11/52, 21%; P=.16), diastolic BP(44/54, 81% vs 37/52, 71%; P=.21), HbA1c levelP=.32), and low-density lipoprotein level/dL (36/51, 70% vs 30/45, 67%; P=.68) in the intervention group than in the control group. The secondary outcome reported is the mortality among the stroke survivors because the number of stroke-related complications was higher in the control group than in the intervention group (13/155, 8.4% vs 2/155, 1.3%), and this difference was statistically significant (P<.001).

Conclusions: The Movies4Stroke trial failed to achieve its primary specified outcome. However, secondary outcomes that directly related to survival skills of stroke survivors demonstrated the effectiveness of the video-based intervention on improving stroke-related mortality and survival without disability.