May 10, 2021

Are medical students adequately prepared to provide quality care for patients with epilepsy? A cross-sectional study of their knowledge and attitude

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Objective: This study assessed preparedness of Palestinian medical students as future physicians to care for patients with epilepsy through assessing their knowledge and attitude.

Methods: The current study was conducted in a cross-sectional design. A pre-validated study tool was used to collect sociodemographic and academic details of the students, test their knowledge using a 16-item test, and test their attitude using a 13-item test.

Results: A total of 386 medical students completed the study tool. The median knowledge score was 75.0% (range: 62.5% to 87.5%). The median attitude score was 81.5% (range: 73.8% to 89.2%). Knowledge and attitude scores correlated positively (Spearman’s rho = 0.25, p-value < 0.001). Students who were in their clinical training stage (OR = 4.22, 95% CI of 2.54 to 7.01), who had received a course/part of a course on epilepsy (OR = 2.55, 95% CI of 1.26 to 5.17), who perceived their knowledge of epilepsy as moderate (OR = 3.14, 95% CI of 1.87 to 5.28), and those who perceived their knowledge of epilepsy as high (OR = 11.91, 95% CI of 2.47 to 57.41) were more likely to score ? 70% in the knowledge test compared to those who were in their basic training stage, who had not received a course/part of a course on epilepsy, and who perceived their knowledge of epilepsy as low, respectively.

Conclusion: Findings of the current investigation may indicate that inclusion of courses on epilepsy early in the medical curriculum might promote knowledge of medical students with regard to epilepsy.

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