Knowledge, attitudes and practices about epilepsy among parents of children living with epilepsy

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Sakubita, Claire Chakale
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This study was designed to examine knowledge, attitudes and practices about epilepsy among parents of children living with epilepsy. This was in order to establish challenges faced by parents of children living with epilepsy in Lusaka urban district. In order to provide relevant literature for the study, various sources of data were explored. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed in this study. The study sample comprised 110 parents who were conveniently selected. Parents whose children were 8 years and below and at the time of the study were receiving treatment at the study sites were targeted. Quantitative data was analyzed quantitatively using tables of percentages and frequency and other forms of computer generated graphics. Qualitative data was analyzed qualitatively using various themes. Findings from the study have revealed that knowledge and understanding of epilepsy among parents was fairly good. It was further revealed that the attitude of parents towards epilepsy treatment was positive. The majority of parents indicated that epilepsy was treatable. However, it was established that the majority of the parents doubted the effectiveness of AEDs for the treatment of epilepsy. Unlike in other studies where contagion beliefs were high, this study registered low levels of contagion beliefs. The majority of the parents reported that epilepsy was not contagious because they had lived with their epileptic children, shared cups and plates but they had not contracted epilepsy. This study has shown that parents of CWE were going through a number of challenges. Some of these included social discrimination, poor access to formal education for their children, marital disputes, loss of employment and chronic sorrow among other things. The study has further revealed that women were most affected. The majority of women who participated in this study were not in any form of employment despite having relevant educational qualifications. The conclusions drawn from this study are that epilepsy is not only a medical but a social challenge as well. It is capable of creating fear, stress and anxiety not only to the victim by the care-giver and the entire family. It is therefore, necessary that relevant authorities put in place deliberate policies that will enhance care for all those afflicted by epilepsy.
Epilepsy , Epilepsy in Children