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Knowledge and attitudes of school teachers, preschool teachers and students in teacher training about epilepsy and emergency management of seizures
  1. Henriette K Dumeier1,
  2. Martina P Neininger1,
  3. Matthias K Bernhard2,
  4. Steffen Syrbe2,
  5. Andreas Merkenschlager2,
  6. Jörg Zabel3,
  7. Wieland Kiess2,
  8. Thilo Bertsche1,
  9. Astrid Bertsche2
  1. 1Drug Safety Center and Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  2. 2University Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Centre of Pediatric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  3. 3Department of Biology Education, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Thilo Bertsche, Drug Safety Center and Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Leipzig, Eilenburger Straße 15a, Leipzig 04317, Germany; thilo.bertsche{at}medizin.uni-leipzig.de

Abstract

Problem School and preschool teachers play a key role in the care of children with epilepsy. Yet, data about their knowledge on epilepsy are scarce.

Methods Assessment of knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy in teachers by conducting a questionnaire survey in Leipzig and Blankenburg, Germany, from August 2013 to January 2014.

Results 1243 questionnaires were completed by 302 school teachers, 883 preschool teachers, 56 students and two unclassified participants. Of the respondents, 140 (11%) stated to have already been actively involved in an epilepsy emergency situation, another 148 (12%) as observers. Only 214 (17%) of respondents felt sufficiently prepared for an emergency. A rescue medication had already been applied by 79 (6%) of respondents; only 186 respondents (15%) stated they would be willing to administer a prescribed rescue medication under any circumstances. In response to an open-ended question about the most common fatal outcomes of a seizure, status epilepticus and drowning were rarely mentioned. 233 (19%) of respondents assumed that epileptic seizures cannot result in death. 606 (49%) of respondents were concerned about the legal repercussions to an incorrect response to a seizure.129/403 (32%) of teachers with >20 years of professional experience claimed never to have had a child suffering from epilepsy in their care, even though the prevalence of childhood epilepsy indicates that they should. In total, 1066 (86%) respondents expressed a desire to gain more knowledge on epilepsy.

Conclusions Training programmes for teachers should be established. Furthermore, a clear legal regulatory framework needs to be set up.

  • Paediatric Practice
  • Patient perspective
  • Social work
  • Evidence Based Medicine
  • Health services research

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