Table of Contents

HK J Paediatr (New Series)
Vol 3. No. 1, 1998

HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:78

Proceedings of Scientific Meeting

Problems Faced by Epileptic Children in Daily Living

KL Kwong, I Chan, K Tse, SN Wong, KT So

HK J Paediatr (new series) 1998;3:74-79

Joint Scientific Meeting
Hong Kong College of Physicians & Hong Kong College of Paediatricians
8th November 1997

Despite advancement in medical care, prejudice and misunderstanding of epilepsy still exist. In this study, we investigate the problems faced by epileptic children, at home and in school, and make suggestions for improvement.

Questionnaires were randomly distributed to parents of epileptic children attending normal and special classes (groups A and B respectively). Return of questionnaires were anonymous.

Ninety one percent responded. Of the 86 responders, 50 children were in Group A and 36 in Group B. Chronic and intractable epilepsy was more frequently observed in Group B than Group A patients (47% vs 14%, P<0.05). Main family concerns were seizures, school performance and side effects of medication. Half of the parents complained that their children were more restless and short-tempered. Taking naps frequently in school was more a problem for Group B children than group A (27% vs 18%). Only 44% of parents were awared that seizure was caused by abnormal brain discharges. 20% thought swimming should be prohibited even if seizures could be controlled. Schools were informed of the disease in 85% of children. Reason for not informing being concern about prejudice that might arise. Only one-fifth of parents knew the name and dose of the current anticonvulsant therapy. Information from physicians was considered adequate in less than one third of patients. 16% of patients had poor drug compliance, 21% in Group A and 3% in Group B (P<0.05). Half of the parents requested for more information about epilepsy and closer communication between teachers and physicians.

To establish comprehensive care that satisfy the needs of epileptic children and their families, further training of medical specialist in epilepsy, and enhancement of the network among relevant organizations are needed. For children with intractable epilepsy, special considerations include associated handicaps and side effects of anticonvulsants.


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