Category: Federal Forum Posters
Purpose: Epilepsy is the fourth most prevalent neurological disorder accounting for more than 50 million cases worldwide. Religious and sociocultural beliefs influence the nature of treatment and care received by epileptic patients. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 94% of epileptic patients in developing nations are not taking the appropriate therapy to control their seizure leading to a higher incidence of lifelong active epilepsies in these regions. With no related data in Lebanon, this study sought to assess the knowledge, the attitude and the practice towards epilepsy among adult Lebanese epileptic patients and the associated factors.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study approved by the ethical committee at the Lebanese international university. The sample was drawn randomly from community pharmacies based on stratified cluster sampling and the strata were the six districts of Lebanon. Sixty community pharmacies constituted the primary sampling units and ten pharmacies were randomly selected from the districts using the Research Randomizer computer program. Patients aged eighteen years and above with at least two years of diagnosis with epilepsy, who came for normal medications or for para-pharmaceuticals were enrolled in the study. Those not meeting the inclusion criteria or have mental illnesses were excluded. The enrolled participants were directly interviewed by the clinical pharmacists after providing their written informed consent. The data collection sheet retrieved information regarding participants’ demography, knowledge, attitude, and practice toward their disease. It was established based on validated and standardized questionnaires including The Epilepsy Patient Knowledge Profile (EPQK) and The Kilifi Epilepsy Beliefs and Attitudes tool (KEBAS). Scores were generated using these questionnaires to classify knowledge (poor, moderate or good), attitude (positive or negative), and practice (poor or good). Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package of the Social Sciences software (SPSS, version 21).
Results: A Total of 134 epileptic patients (53% females, 47% males) with a mean age of 36.53 ± 13.15 years were included in this study. Almost half of the participants were married (56%), employed (43.3 %) and had moderate incomes (49.3%). The majority of respondents had attained a minimum of secondary school education (91.3%). The most reported seizure type was generalized seizure (26%). Half of the respondents were on polytherapy (50.7%), while the rest (49.3%) were on monotherapy, with Valproic acid being the most prescribed medication (39.7%) followed by carbamazepine (34.9%). Approximately 64% of the studied patients had good seizure control. The majority of the patients had good knowledge (82%) and a positive attitude (98%) toward their disease with almost two-thirds having a good practice (63%) as well. There were no statistically significant associations between the level of knowledge, attitude or practice with seizure control (p= 0.14, p=1 and p=0.25, respectively). However, a statistically significant association was identified between the practice level and the number of seizure episodes among patients on treatment (p=0.034).
Conclusion: The Lebanese patients suffering from epilepsy had basic good knowledge, attitude and practice towards their disease with good seizure control. Meanwhile, the seizure control was not associated with the knowledge, attitude, and practice of the patient toward their disease.