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Epilepsy Behav. 2007 Jun;10(4):604-10. Epub 2007 Apr 20.

Evaluation of an epilepsy education program for Grade 5 students: a cluster randomized trial.

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  • 1The George Institute for International Health at the University of Sydney, M201 Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.



Epilepsy is a common and often highly stigmatized disorder. Several international organizations indicate a need to assess the stigma that exists and to develop and evaluate interventions to dispel myths about epilepsy.


A stratified cluster randomized controlled trial evaluated whether an epilepsy education program (intervention) increases knowledge of and positive attitudes about epilepsy in Grade 5 students (ages 9-11). The study also investigated characteristics of the individuals (gender, language spoken at home, familiarity with epilepsy) and schools (Catholic vs public, size of school, and school level socioeconomic status) that affect epilepsy knowledge and attitudes. We assessed epilepsy knowledge and attitudes at baseline and 1 month following the program using a 33-item questionnaire.


In total, 24 schools (783 individuals) were cluster randomized. Those in the intervention group had an average 11.8-point increase (95% confidence interval (CI)=11.4-12.5) in knowledge 1 month following the program, compared with the control group increase of 2.2 points (95% CI=1.8-2.6) out of a total of 57 points. For attitudes, the intervention group had a mean increase of 8.15 points (95% CI=4.70-11.60), compared with the control group increase of 1.64 points (95% CI=-0.84-4.42) out of a total of 50 points. The intervention was responsible for 63% of the variation in postprogram epilepsy knowledge and 28% of the variation in postprogram attitudes about epilepsy.


The epilepsy education program was associated with a significant increase in epilepsy knowledge and positive attitudes in the intervention group 1 month later compared with the control group.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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