Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 160-164

Knowledge, attitude, and practices with regard to epilepsy in rural north-west India

Department of Neurology, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India

Correspondence Address:
R K Sureka
47, Sanjay Marg, Hathroi Scheme, Jaipur - 302 001, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.34795

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Objectives: To study the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about the causes and the treatment of epilepsy in rural North West India in the year 2000 and, again after 4 years, to study the effects of health education and regular treatment on the same parameters. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted twice, in 2000 and 2004. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information on demographic profile, seizure characteristics, knowledge regarding cause of epilepsy, details of alternative forms of treatment taken, and attitude towards medical treatment. Results: Generalized seizures were the most common (84%) type of seizure, followed by partial seizures (9.4%). The most common antiepileptic drug used was phenytoin, followed by phenobarbitone. Ayurvedic treatment was the most common alternative therapy used. Evil spirits were believed to be the cause of the disease by 26.4% of the patients in 2000, but only in 11.2% in 2004. Faith in the curative power of drugs increased from 18% in 2000 to 59% in the year 2004. Polytherapy was being resorted to by 60% of patients in 2000; this was reduced to 45.6% in 2004. Conclusion: Positive attitude changes over the four years from 2000 to 2004 confirm the need for effective health education that can remove misconcepts regarding disease.

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