Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 125-127

Perception of epilepsy among the urban secondary school children of Bareilly district

1 Department of Community Medicine, Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pharmacology, Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Syed Esam Mahmood
Department of Community Medicine, Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital, Bareilly 243 006, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.94996

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Background: There is a lack of knowledge about epilepsy among the students and the population in general, with consequent prejudice and discrimination toward epileptic patients. Objectives: Knowledge, behavior, attitude and myth toward epilepsy among urban school children in Bareilly district was studied. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among students of 10 randomly selected secondary schools of the urban areas in Bareilly district. A structured, pretested questionnaire was used to collect data regarding sociodemographic characteristics and assess the subject's knowledge, behavior, attitude and myth toward epilepsy. Results: Of the 798 students (533 boys and 265 girls) studied, around 98.6% had heard of epilepsy. About 63.7% correctly thought that epilepsy is a brain disorder while 81.8% believed it to be a psychiatric disorder. Other prevalent misconceptions were that epilepsy is an inherited disorder (71.55%) and that the disease is transmitted by eating a nonvegetarian diet (49%). Most of them thought that epilepsy can be cured (69.3) and that an epileptic patient needs lifelong treatment (77.2). On witnessing a seizure, about 51.5% of the students would take the person to the hospital. Majority (72.31%) of the students thought that children with epilepsy should study in a special school. Conclusions: Although majority of the students had reasonable knowledge of epilepsy, myths and superstitions about the condition still prevail in a significant proportion of the urban school children. It may be worthwhile including awareness programs about epilepsy in school education to dispel misconceptions about epilepsy.

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