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African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2071-2936
Print version ISSN 2071-2928


GILANI, Zamir A.; NAIDOO, Kantharuben  and  ROSS, Andrew. A review of 'medical' knowledge of epilepsy amongst isiZulu-speaking patients at a regional hospital in KwaZulu-Natal. Afr. j. prim. health care fam. med. (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.7, n.1, pp.1-6. ISSN 2071-2936.

BACKGROUND: Epilepsy is a common disorder in South Africa and the literature indicates that many patients do not access treatment. The reasons are complex and include a poor knowledge about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment (medical knowledge). This study aimed to assess the medical knowledge of isiZulu-speaking people with epilepsy (PWE) who attend a combination regional and district hospital in the eThekwini district in KwaZulu-Natal Province METHOD: This was a prospective, cross-sectional, descriptive study. Data were collected using a validated data collection tool for assessing the medical knowledge of PWE and analysed descriptively RESULTS: The questionnaires were completed by 199 PWE, with the general level of schooling being low and half being unemployed. Knowledge around causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments was good, but there were significant gaps in knowledge that may affect morbidity and mortality DISCUSSION: The findings will serve as a useful guide to develop both preventive and educational interventions to enhance knowledge around the causes and treatment of epilepsy in this population. It is important that such interventions also consider family and healthcare providers CONCLUSION: There were considerable gaps in the medical knowledge of isiZulu-speaking PWE's, indicating the need for an educational intervention to improve their understanding of epilepsy. Further research is needed-using a range of tools to ensure that the data is reliable and valid-if the results are to be generalisable to the rest of the province and South Africa.

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