Introduction: Epilepsy is characterized by uncontrolled, recurrent seizure attacks in one or more body parts of a person. It is related to abnormal brain activity which can be genetic, can be caused by drugs or infections or may even be idiopathic in nature. Epilepsy is a widely stigmatized disease in Pakistan which affects a person’s mental and social wellbeing but the socio-personal effects of the disease have not been discussed immensely in this part of the world.
Methodology: The following article is a cross-sectional study conducted at the National Epilepsy Centre, Karachi from June, 2018 to March, 2019 for a span of 10 months after prompt approval from the institutional review board. Parents of 70 adolescents were handed out a questionnaire devised on the basis of Rutter-Parent Questionnaire and GHQ-30. The final data was analyzed by mean of Statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 using descriptive statistics and Pearson-correlation test. A p-value of <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Out of the 70 adolescents, 46 (64.8%) attended school while 24 (35.18%) did not. Out of the 46 who attended school, males were 35 (50%) while females were 11 (15.7%). 14 (20%) had received primary education, 21 (30%) had received secondary education, 12 (17.1%) received higher education and 3 (4.3%) went to religious schools. 44 adolescents (62.8%) took active parts in sports, 8 (11.4%) never played sports, 35 (50%) faced difficulties in school, 35 (50%) had a good school life despite the disease. Teachers of 42 (60%) and peers of 36 (51.4%) children supported them in the process. Around 60 (85.7%) children made friends easily. 14 (20%) children were the reason for arguments in the family while parents of 44 (62.8%) children denied any family quarrels due to their children. 29 (40%) children had a good sleep free of nightmares due to their seizures, while 22 (31.4%) children complained of bad dreams.
Conclusion: Approximately a quarter of the total number of parents who took part in the study perceived epilepsy to be a burden for the healthy social and mental well-being of their children whereas the remaining parents were hopeful about their child’s disease. Further studies need to be done city-wide to study the psychosocial effects of the disease not only on the children but also the family.PDF
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