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Epilepsy Behav. 2009 Feb;14(2):360-6. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.11.014. Epub 2008 Dec 25.

Obstacles to mental health care in pediatric epilepsy: insight from parents.

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Department of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1759, USA.


This exploratory study compared the responses of 20 Caucasian and 20 Hispanic mothers of children with epilepsy about possible obstacles to mental health care (MHC) for their children before and after they read a brochure on the neurobehavioral comorbidities of epilepsy. The intervention significantly increased the mothers' knowledge of the behavior and cognitive comorbidities of pediatric epilepsy and their treatment. Baseline differences in the attitude toward MHC and the stigma of epilepsy between Hispanic and Caucasian mothers were no longer apparent after the intervention. Irrespective of ethnicity, the mothers also became significantly more aware that their children did not want to have epilepsy-related behavior and learning difficulties. Efficient use of time spent in doctors' waiting rooms to educate parents about the neurobehavioral comorbidities of epilepsy can address the lack-of-knowledge barrier to MHC. However, the study's findings suggested a need to determine if there are specific obstacles to MHC in pediatric epilepsy.

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