September 14, 2021

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Caregivers of Children with Epilepsy in Sudan

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Objective: To explore the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of caregivers of children with epilepsy.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 107 consecutive caregivers of children diagnosed with epilepsy, attending the neurology outpatient clinic in a Pediatric tertiary university hospital, in Khartoum, Sudan for regular check-up. Data were obtained by an interviewer through a structured questionnaire, while clinical parameters of children with epilepsy were taken from medical records.

Results: Most respondents knew that epilepsy is not an infectious disease (92.5%), while the least proportion of caregivers (41.1%) knew that epilepsy did not emanate from a supernatural origin. The majority of caregivers were with the idea that epilepsy caused lost opportunities for study (66.4%) and that epilepsy was looked upon negatively by others (64.5%). Less than half (39.7%) of these caregivers rolled their child on to the side during a seizure, and more than a third (37.2%) admitted to sprinkling water over the child during his/her seizure. Caregivers’ of children with Generalized Tonic-Clonic (GTC) convulsions, reported significantly lower knowledge scores than caregivers whose children did not experience GTC seizures (p = 0.016). Caregivers of children with GTC seizures were more likely to believe epilepsy was for the most part hereditary (p = 0.006), and that children with epilepsy lost consciousness during a seizure (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that caregivers require periodic epilepsy-related educational programs. This study is an invaluable tool for tailoring the delivery of information and support resources for caregivers in our region.

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