Assessing knowledge of symptoms and first-aid care of epilepsy in Grenada, West Indies.
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that is increasingly prevalent in developing countries. It is critical to provide appropriate support to patients during seizures in order to prevent injuries. False beliefs regarding the etiology or pathogenesis of the epilepsy and inadequate health information may put patients with epilepsy or other seizure disorders at increased risk of injury. Our objective was to assess the level of epilepsy awareness amongst the general population in Grenada and educate the participants regarding proper first-aid measures. A pilot questionnaire containing a total of 25 items surveying the knowledge, attitudes, and first-aid care of epilepsy was presented to 200 adult residents of Grenada as face-to-face interviews. Study participants were recruited over a nine-month period on a voluntary basis at health fairs, in local communities, and on the campus of St. George's University. Our results indicate that 35 out of 198 (17.7%) respondents erroneously believed that medicine should be placed in a person's mouth during a seizure, and 83 out of 200 (41.5%) answered that a person who is convulsing should be held down. Furthermore, 128 out of 195 (65.6%) respondents erroneously believed that seizures occur when there is low brain activity and an additional 35 out of 199 (17.6%) regarded epilepsy as a contagious disorder. Our data suggest that persons with seizures and/or epilepsy may be at increased risk of injury in Grenada due to common misconceptions and false beliefs. It is critical that epilepsy awareness is promoted in developing countries, such as Grenada, where inadequate health information may be common.
Published In/Presented At
Cofano, S. C., Ojukwu, D., Mozumdar, N., Raza, Z., Saigal, S., Musku, S., Zar, S., Merolla, M., & Jalonen, T. O. (2017). Assessing knowledge of symptoms and first-aid care of epilepsy in Grenada, West Indies. Epilepsy & behavior : E&B, 70(Pt A), 232–237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.03.003
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine