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Seizure. 2007 Dec;16(8):698-702. Epub 2007 Jun 21.

Seizure impact on the school attendance in children with epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology, University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil.



Epilepsy has a significant influence on the patient's quality of life. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of ongoing seizures on school attendance amongst children with epilepsy.


This was a prospective study, conducted at the University of Campinas, in the pediatric epilepsy clinic, from January 2005 to August 2006. We enrolled 50 consecutive children who had a diagnosis of epilepsy. Parents were interviewed by one of the authors using a semi-structured questionnaire that included questions specifically addressing the impact of epilepsy on the child's academic life.


Fifty patients were evaluated, 34 boys and 16 girls; ages ranged from 6 to 18 years old (mean=11). Eighty-eight percent of patients in the study missed at least 1 day of school due to seizures. The reason given by parents for a school absence was seizure in 75%, medical appointment in 79.5%, epilepsy related tests (EEG, MRI, etc.) in 68.2%, and other in 0.03%. Almost half of the parents (46%) believed that if the child had a seizure at school he/she should leave school immediately. Sixty percent of families allowed the child to skip a school day even if there was no illness and the child had no seizures on that day. Among those patients with siblings, 12.5% had a brother or sister who was absent from school for at least 1 day due to his/her sibling's epilepsy.


Seizures have a significant impact on school attendance, and as a result may increase the academic difficulties faced by children with epilepsy. This effect may be especially pronounced in children with symptomatic epilepsy and medically intractable seizures.

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