Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP) of parents and guardians of children with epilepsy at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of parents and guardians of children with epilepsy regarding the illness. DESIGN: cross-sectional study. SETTING: Paediatric Neurology Clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). RESULTS: 116 parents and guardians were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Focused group discussions (FGDs) were also carried out on 42 other parents and guardians. More than 77% of the parents/ guardians (P/G) had some knowledge on the type of illness their children were suffering from, the features of a convulsion, the alerting features before convulsions, the type of antiepileptic drug treatment their children were receiving and the potential hazards to an epileptic child during a convulsion. Many P/G did not know the causes of epilepsy, alerting features prior to a convulsion or the complications of epilepsy. 60% of the P/G 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. 40% of the epileptic children of school going age in this study were not attending school because of problems which should not have interfered with school. Spiritual healing, and to a lesser extent traditional herbal medicine were perceived to be important components of therapy for epilepsy when used in conjunction with western treatment. A higher level of formal education of the P/G had a positive influence on their KAP towards epilepsy. The findings of the FGD’s corroborated those of the questionnaire interviews. RECOMMENDATIONS: Health Education should be given at all levels of contact with P/G, to enhance their KAP towards epilepsy, as this was likely to impact positively on the care accorded the children living with epilepsy.