September 14, 2021

Knowledge, attitude, and barriers for epilepsy surgery: A survey among resident doctors in a tertiary care center in India

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Background: Knowledge and attitude of doctors toward epilepsy surgery are essential for management and timely referral of people with Drug refractory epilepsy (DRE). This study aimed at analyzing knowledge, attitude, and barriers for epilepsy surgery among medical residents.

Methods: A survey consisting of 16 statements in a Likert-like scale and one open-ended question was conducted among residents joining different postgraduate courses after MBBS (GR) and super-specialty courses after MD (PG) within 2 months of joining the institute. PGs with a postgraduate degree in internal medicine, pediatrics, or psychiatry were included. Demographic data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Difference in response to the survey statements was analyzed using independent t test.

Results: 115 participated in the survey of which 97 were GRs. Participants belonged to 22 different states and 3 were foreign nationals. 45% of participants did not know the definition of DRE. There was a difference of opinion among GRs and PGs regarding surgery as a treatment option for epilepsy and feasibility of epilepsy surgery in children (p < .05). PGs were more confident in treating PWE and preferred to refer people with DRE to a higher center early (p < .05). Lack of knowledge was the commonest barrier for epilepsy surgery.

Conclusion: A substantial number of participants lacked the basic knowledge of drug resistant epilepsy and epilepsy surgery. Lack of knowledge was perceived to be the commonest barrier for epilepsy surgery. Dissemination of basic knowledge and development of protocols for identification and referral of people with drug resistant epilepsy are the need of the hour.

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