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Original Article

IJMDC. 2021; 5(5): 1195-1201

Knowledge and practice of the population toward epilepsy in children in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Rahma Mazen Bazhair, Adel Ali Alhazmi, Osamah Hani Abualross, Jumanah Hamed H Alharbi, Ahmed Omar Bahawi, Mahdi Kanjo, Layan Arafah.

Background: Epilepsy is characterized by unprovoked episodes of convulsive attacks generated as a result of excessive electrical discharges that promote abnormal brain cortical activity. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and practice toward epilepsy in children among public residents in Jeddah city, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in 2020.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried out between June and September 2020 in Jeddah, KSA. An online questionnaire was distributed through social media. All individuals who lived in Jeddah and aged 18 years and above were included; the only exclusion criterion was diagnosis of epilepsy.
Results: A total of 1,319 responses were analyzed. Of all, 75.3% were females and 24.7% were males. The participants' ages ranged from 18 to 75 years, with an average age of 35.3 12.4 years. The majority (85.9%) of the participants believed epilepsy could affect children. An association was found between direct experience with epileptic patients and putting an object in the epileptic patient's mouth during an episode. Around 66.2% of the participants who had experience with epilepsy patients agreed to put an object between the teeth (p-value < 0.001). Almost 45.4% of the participants declared that religious methods could treat epilepsy. There was a significant association between religious methods' treatment and age group (p-value = 0.001).
Conclusion: Knowledge and practices are improving, although wrong beliefs about epilepsy still exist. Wrong practice could delay proper medical treatment, which subsequently might lead to undesired complications.

Key words: Jeddah, knowledge, practice, epilepsy, children.

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