Abstract found in DocWire News and originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior
OBJECTIVE: Epilepsy can be a well-controlled condition with only a slight impact on patients’ life. Lack of knowledge within society contributes to children with epilepsy experiencing discrimination and hostility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the awareness of epilepsy and general views on people struggling with this disease among school-aged children.
METHODS: The study was conducted on a random sample of Polish school students, in total 472 participants. Participants’ knowledge was assessed by a self-completed survey.
RESULTS: Students are unaware of the wide range of symptoms occurring during seizures. More than half claimed that people experiencing epilepsy should not perform sports activities. Alarmingly, 30% of participants believe that those patients should not leave the house and they should be excluded from many jobs. Almost all participants would help a person experiencing seizures and remember proper head protection; shockingly, 20% of children would try to put something in the person’s mouth. Older students seem to be better educated on epilepsy, but the percentage of incorrect personal beliefs and myths is similar for each age group.
SIGNIFICANCE: School-aged students have insufficient knowledge of epilepsy. More emphasis should be put on first aid during seizures and on the spectrum of epilepsy symptoms. Educating society is important for life quality of people experiencing epilepsy.