Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding epilepsy among nurses in a tertiary care hospital in South India

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Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology


Background: In a resource constraint nation like India, nurses play an important role in bridging the epilepsy treatment gap. They are not only caregivers but also opinion leaders. So this study has been undertaken to study the knowledge, attitude and practices regarding epilepsy among the nursing staff. Material and Methods: A hospital based cross-sectional study was conducted among 213 staff nurses in South India for a period of four months using a 50 item questionnaire. Results: In our study very few nurses (8%) had never witnessed an epileptic seizure .Most of them believed to have insufficient experience in taking care of such patients (86%) and were also reluctant to take care of them (28%). Certain negative beliefs like epileptics are sinners, contagious and under the influence of supernatural power were still prevailing among them. They practiced administration of oxygen and giving a metallic object in the hands of the patient during an epileptic seizure. Half of them had average to poor knowledge, attitude and practice regarding epilepsy. Conclusion: The study findings show that knowledge, attitude and practice regarding epilepsy is low. This calls for urgent need to include practical as well as theoritical aspects of epilepsy care in the nursing curriculum and at the same time address the misconceptions linked to it.

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