A Comparative Study to Assess the Knowledge of Caregivers of People with Epilepsy and General Public Regarding Epilepsy and its First-Aid Management
*Corresponding Author Email: email@example.com
Background and purpose
Epilepsy is an episodic illness which requires prompt treatment for good outcome. Seizures can develop at any time. Hence first-aid management of seizures is important. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge of caregivers of people with epilepsy and general public regarding the first-aid management of seizures.
Materials and methods
A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted from June 2009 to December 2009 in 200 subjects, i.e.100 caregivers of persons with epilepsy attending epilepsy OPD and 100 general public who were visiting the other general OPDs. The data was collected using a structured questionnaire.
The findings of the present study in relation to the demographic variables age (p=0.001), education (p=0.05) and type of family (p=0.002) showed a significant difference in two groups. On comparison of two groups in relation to knowledge about epilepsy and its first-aid management showed that they had inadequate knowledge. Myths regarding epilepsy were common in both the groups like epilepsy a contagious disease (general public 83%, caregivers 36%), marriage can cure the disease (general public 69%, caregivers 73%), and epilepsy is not treatable (general public 12%, caregivers 17%). The common wrong first-aid measures which are reported by both the groups include keeping an object between the teeth (caregivers-56%, general public-49%), pulling the tongue out (caregivers-67%, general public-74%), smelling the shoes (caregivers-52%, general public-45%). Among caregivers female gender had an influence on knowledge about epilepsy whereas no significant association was seen in caregivers between age, sex, educational status, monthly income and knowledge about first-aid. But in general public, age of the subjects showed an influence on the knowledge about epilepsy whereas knowledge about first-aid management of seizures was influenced by educational status.
This study revealed that the both caregivers and general public had inadequate knowledge regarding epilepsy and its first-aid. They need continuous ongoing health education. The need of the hour is to provide necessary inputs via developing a module which will act as a reference material.
Epilepsy, first-aid management, seizures, health education, people with epilepsy.