Pédiatrie et thérapeutique

Pédiatrie et thérapeutique
Libre accès

ISSN: 2161-0665


Parent's Knowledge and Attitudes towards Children with Epilepsy

Lama E Zaini ,Dania M Atteyah ,Wala’aM Aldisi ,Hanadi A Abdulkarim ,Rawia F Al-helo ,Haneen A Al-hilali ,Mohammed M.S. Jan *

Background: Parent’s attitudes toward children with epilepsy are influenced by the degree of their knowledge. Misinformation and misconceptions should be identified and corrected for optimal care and management. Our objectives were to study the parent’s knowledge and attitudes and identify contributing factors to negative attitudes. Methods: Consecutive parents were included prospectively through the pediatric neurology out-patient clinic of King Abdulaziz University hospital, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A structured 40-item questionnaire was designed to examine their demographics, knowledge and attitudes toward children with epilepsy. Results: A total of 117 parents were interviewed, 57% were mothers. The ages of their epileptic child ranged from 1-16 years (median 6.6), mostly (65%) boys. Although most parents (70%) felt informed about epilepsy and recognized various treatment modalities, many believed that epilepsy is a mental disorder (48%), correlates with evil (44%), and affects the child’s intelligence (38%). Up to 53% admitted that they treat their epileptic child differently and avoid upsetting or punishing him/her. This behavior was less likely if they achieved college or university education (p=0.01). Some parents (29%) admitted to using non-medical treatments, usually traditional herbs and religious practices. Those parents were more likely to believe that epilepsy is a mental disease (p=0.002) or correlates with evil (p=0.015). Conclusions: The level of knowledge and understanding about epilepsy among parents of epileptic children needs improvement. Many parents have significant misconceptions, negative attitudes, and poor parenting practices. Increased awareness and educational programs are needed to help improve the quality of life of these patients and their families.