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Seizure. 1993 Sep;2(3):195-200.

Therapeutic recreation programmes for children with epilepsy.

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  • 1Epilepsy Association of NSW, Sydney, Australia.


Amongst children with epilepsy, research has shown that most have a negative self-concept and consequently a low level of self-esteem. This elusive concept of the self is constantly being assessed and reassessed by each child throughout the process of social development. Early literature has suggested that children with disabilities, especially chronic medical or biological disabilities, typified by epilepsy and diabetes, are more susceptible to the development of psychopathology and negative self-concepts. This paper reports that intervention in the form of therapeutic recreation programmes can help rectify this problem of negative self-concept and low self-esteem in children with epilepsy. The Piers-Harris Self Concept Scale, a Self Report Inventory on six dimensions of self-concept, was assessed both pre- and post-therapeutic recreational intervention to show significant improvement in the child's self-concept and acceptance of their epilepsy. Educational components within the programme have demonstrated significant learning and increased treatment compliance--particularly with long-term medications. The Adolescent Psychosocial Seizure Inventory, an adolescent version of the Washington Psycho-Social Seizure Inventory (WPSI), both of which have been validated as a reliable clinical assessment for use in Australia, has provided further evidence to suggest that improvements occur in children's self-concept as a consequence of therapeutic recreation, however use of this protocol appears limited to adolescents over the age of 13 years.

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