Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Parents and Guardians of Children with Epilepsy at Pediatric Neurology Clinic in a Tertiary Hospital in Ethiopia


  • Etsegenet Gedlu Addis Ababa University
  • Ayalew Moges Addis Ababa University


Epilepsy, children, Ethiopia


Background: Epilepsy is considered to be present when 2 or more unprovoked seizures occur in a time frame of longer than 24 hr. Public awareness and attitudes towards epilepsy differ across cultures. It has been noted that traditional beliefs and lack of knowledge strongly influence attitudes towards epilepsy. Epilepsy remains a stigmatized disease especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Objectives: To assess knowledge, attitude and practices of Parents and Guardians of children with epilepsy attending follow up at pediatric neurology clinic in Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital.

Methods: Hospital based cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 186 parents and guardians of children with epilepsy attending pediatrics neurology clinic from September 1 to October 30, 2018.

Results: More than 60% of the parents/guardians had some knowledge on epilepsy and the type of antiepileptic drug treatment their children were receiving. Fifty-eight percent of the parents/guardians administered some recommended first aid measures to their epileptic children during a fit, but many of them combined these with potentially harmful first aid measures. Spiritual healing and to a lesser extent traditional medicine were perceived to be important components of therapy for epilepsy when used in conjunction with hospital treatment. An increased level of education of the parents/guardians had a positive influence on their knowledge, attitudes and practices towards epilepsy.

Conclusions: Some epilepsy-related issues still require improvement in parental knowledge. Ensuring education and support at community and school levels for both parents and children with epilepsy should be the principal goal of health-care service.

Key words: Epilepsy, children, Ethiopia


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Original Article