ISSN - 0973-0958

Pediatric Oncall Journal View Article

Knowledge and Attitude of Parents Towards the First Seizure Episode in Children in Yaounde, Cameroon
Andreas Chiabi1, Seraphin Nguefack1, Rita Tchematcha Monkam2, Jean Baptiste Bogne1, Felicitee Nguefack Dongmo1, Jacob Enoh3, Elie Mbonda1.
1Paediatric Unit, Yaounde Gynaeco Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon,
2Institut Superieur des Sciences de la Sante, Universite des Montagnes, Bangangte, Cameroon,
3Paediatric Unit, Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital, Cameroon.
Aim: Seizures are common in the pediatric age group and occur in approximately 10% of children. Parents often experience anxiety and fear if seizures in the child occur in their presence at home. Parental response is mostly determined by their knowledge on seizures. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes of mothers towards the first seizure of their children in the Cameroonian context.
Material and Methods: A cross sectional and descriptive study was conducted in Yaounde in Cameroon, over a period of six months. Included in the study, were mothers whose children were hospitalized for seizures. The seizure had to be the very first in the child, and had never occurred in the other siblings.
Results: A total of 100 mothers were interviewed. Most mothers (88%) had heard of convulsions, and the main source of information was mothers and/or relatives in 89.8% of the mothers. Upward eye deviation was the most common description in 35.1% of the mothers. According to the mothers, the main causes of seizures were high fever (47%) and malaria. However, 20.9% had no idea whatsoever of the cause. The main consequences according to the mothers were, death (32.1%), and mental disorders (22.9%). Besides some mothers admitted they had no idea (20.2%). As to their knowledge on the management of seizures only, 20.9% admitted they will rush the child to a hospital for urgent treatment. Almost all (98%) were frightened during the seizures, and the main reason for this fear was that the child might die (91%).
Conclusion: Parental knowledge on seizures was insufficient which explains their inappropriate attitudes. Parents should therefore be well educated on seizures with emphasis on the importance of appropriate home responses.

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