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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-46

Perspectives of Mothers on Childhood Epilepsy in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, Nigeria
4 Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) Unit, Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, Nigeria
5 Department of Family Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Edwin E Eseigbe
Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2384-5147.150470

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Introduction: Epilepsy is one of the most common childhood neurological diseases and is associated with poor outcomes in developing countries where it is most prevalent. The epilepsy perspectives of adults in these countries have been found to influence epilepsy outcomes significantly. Assessing the epilepsy perspectives of mothers, who play a pivotal role in child care, is important to providing comprehensive epilepsy care and ensuring better outcomes. Objective: To assess the knowledge and attitude of mothers, as primary child care providers toward children with epilepsy. Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered to mothers attending a primary healthcare center, and it assessed their sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge and attitude with regards to childhood epilepsy. Knowledge was assessed based on responses to queries about etiology, manifestation, treatment and outcome of epilepsy in childhood. Attitude was assessed based on mothers' tendency toward stigmatization or discrimination against children with epilepsy. Results: A total of 523 mothers, whose age range was 17-52 years (mean 27.5 ΁ 10.3 years), was interviewed. Most were <30 years old (300, 57.4%), petty traders (217, 41.5%) and had a primary education (221, 42.3%). Spiritual cause (247, 47.2%) and "falling to the ground" (361, 69%) were the commonest epilepsy etiology and manifestation indicated respectively. Orthodox medical therapy (239, 45.7%), prayers (138, 30.2%) and traditional medication (118, 22.6%) were the main treatment modalities indicated. Most of the mothers (277, 53%) were uncertain about the outcome in childhood epilepsy. Stigmatization and discrimination against children with epilepsy were indicated by 120 (22.9%) and 481 (92%) of the mothers respectively. Lack of any formal education, indication of a spiritual etiology and perception of a poor outcome for epilepsy were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with the attitudinal disposition of the mothers. Conclusion: Majority of the mothers demonstrated appreciable deficiencies in their knowledge of epilepsy and had a negative attitudinal disposition toward epilepsy in childhood.

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