Addressing Stroke Literacy in Nigeria Through Music: A Qualitative Study of Community Perspectives

Ucheoma Nwaozuru, Chizoba Ezepue, Juliet Iwelunmor, Chisom Obiezu-Umeh, Florida Uzoaru, Daudet Ilunga Tshiswaka, Njideka Okubadejo, Randall Edgell, Oliver Ezechi, Titilola Gbajabiamila, Adeola Z. Musa, David Oladele, Olugbenga Ogedegbe, Olajide Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The incidence of stroke in Nigeria is unknown, but stroke literacy, defined here as awareness of stroke warning symptoms and risk factors may be poor in high-risk communities. Although there is growing recognition of the use of music as a conduit to promote health literacy, African music is often overlooked as a source of health information. We sought to understand community-level perspectives on using African music to promote acute stroke literacy. Methods: A purposive sample of education, health and music professionals, high school and university students were recruited to participate in the qualitative study. Study participants completed a brainstorming exercise that elicited their perceptions of potential barriers and facilitators to the use of music to promote acute stroke literacy in Nigeria. Content analysis was used to identify key themes emerging from the brainstorming exercise. Results: A total of 44 individuals, comprising of 25 students with a mean age of 15.9 ± 1.6 years (52% females) and 19 professionals with a mean age of 39 ± 7.7 years (57.9% males) participated in the brainstorming exercise. Facilitators to the use of music to promote acute stroke literacy in Nigeria include the cultural relevance of music, the ubiquity of music, and government involvement. Key barriers include religious beliefs that discourage the use of “secular” music, cost-related barriers, and limited government support. Conclusions: Findings from this study provide guidance aimed at improving acute stroke literacy in Nigeria, particularly the importance of government involvement in the development and implementation of stroke literacy interventions guided by African music. Future work should consider implementing interventions that leverage the cultural elements of African music and further assess the extent to which these identified facilitators and/or barriers may influence stroke literacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105312
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • African music
  • Afrobeat stroke
  • Facilitators, Nigeria
  • Music, Barriers
  • Stroke literacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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