Introduction: Epilepsy represents a major global healthcare issue, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), where nonmedical health workers play a key role in providing care to people with epilepsy (PWE). Over the last 20 years, many projects have been carried out by our group in the Chaco region, Plurinational State of Bolivia, with the aim of enhancing knowledge about epilepsy. However, the level of knowledge of epilepsy that nonmedical health workers have reached has never been assessed until now. The main objective of our study was to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) towards epilepsy among nonmedical health staff of the rural communities of the Chaco region in Bolivia. Methods: The study was conducted in three departments of Bolivia. The nonmedical health personnel were invited to participate in a training program. They answered a validated questionnaire to evaluate their knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy before and after the courses. Results: One hundred nineteen subjects [42 men (36.2%); mean age 29.3 ± 1.1 years] were interviewed among community health workers and nurses before the courses, demonstrating a very good level of knowledge regarding epilepsy and its causes. Only 55 health workers participated in the second training module, and their answer did not significantly differ from the baseline. Conclusion: Our study confirms the usefulness of continuous educational campaigns, especially directed to nonspecialist healthcare providers of rural communities of LMIC, as they may be the only persons responsible for providing healthcare to PWE in that setting. Moreover, the importance of the baseline assessment of KAP was highlighted in order to adapt the educational campaigns to the baseline level of knowledge found.

Knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy among nonmedical health workers in rural Bolivia: Results after a long-term activity in the Chaco region

Giuliano, Loretta;Cicero, Calogero Edoardo;Sofia, Vito;Zappia, Mario;Nicoletti, Alessandra
2018

Abstract

Introduction: Epilepsy represents a major global healthcare issue, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), where nonmedical health workers play a key role in providing care to people with epilepsy (PWE). Over the last 20 years, many projects have been carried out by our group in the Chaco region, Plurinational State of Bolivia, with the aim of enhancing knowledge about epilepsy. However, the level of knowledge of epilepsy that nonmedical health workers have reached has never been assessed until now. The main objective of our study was to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) towards epilepsy among nonmedical health staff of the rural communities of the Chaco region in Bolivia. Methods: The study was conducted in three departments of Bolivia. The nonmedical health personnel were invited to participate in a training program. They answered a validated questionnaire to evaluate their knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy before and after the courses. Results: One hundred nineteen subjects [42 men (36.2%); mean age 29.3 ± 1.1 years] were interviewed among community health workers and nurses before the courses, demonstrating a very good level of knowledge regarding epilepsy and its causes. Only 55 health workers participated in the second training module, and their answer did not significantly differ from the baseline. Conclusion: Our study confirms the usefulness of continuous educational campaigns, especially directed to nonspecialist healthcare providers of rural communities of LMIC, as they may be the only persons responsible for providing healthcare to PWE in that setting. Moreover, the importance of the baseline assessment of KAP was highlighted in order to adapt the educational campaigns to the baseline level of knowledge found.
Epilepsy; Health promotion; Tropical health; Neurology; Neurology (clinical); Behavioral Neuroscience
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/333965
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