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Original Articles

School drop out and fallout from idiopathic epilepsy in rural Sri Lanka

Authors:

ACD de Alwis ,

Consultant Paediatrician, General Hospital, Ratnapura, LK
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SH Kariyawasam,

Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, LK
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C Weerasinghe

Medical Officer, Cancer Institute, Maharagama, LK
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Abstract

Aims The purpose of the study was to assess the schooling status and the educational achievement of children with idiopathic epilepsy in rural Sri Lanka, and to evaluate the impact of some disease related factors on school achievement.

Method Thirty six children (24 boys, 12 girls) aged 6- 16 years (mean age 10.72 years) with idiopathic epilepsy attending a clinic in rural Sri Lanka were studied. Their schooling status was recorded and the educational achievement was assessed by the standard school report and teacher assessment report for two subjects; first language and mathematics. Two sub groups of academic achievers and non-achievers were compared and the impact of some disease related factors such as gender, age at onset of seizures, duration of epilepsy, seizure type and anti-epileptic medication on academic achievement was evaluated by a statistical test.

Results School failure was seen in 21 (58%) out of 36 children. Five (13.8%) failed to attend school for a continuous period exceeding six months owing to epilepsy. The main reason for non-attendance was fear of occurrence of seizures. Academic underachievement was observed in 16 (51.6%) out of 31 school-going children. School failure was seen in both subjects studied. Statistical analysis showed no impact of gender, age at onset of seizures, duration of epilepsy, seizure type and anti-epileptic medication on academic achievement.

Conclusion School drop out and fallout are significantly common among children with idiopathic epilepsy. It is important for the paediatrician, teacher and parents to keep an eye on school performance so that early remedial action can be taken.    

Key words: School drop out, epilepsy, children, Sri Lanka

DOI = 10.4038/sljch.v37i1.83

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health 2008; 37: 8-11

How to Cite: de Alwis, A., Kariyawasam, S. and Weerasinghe, C., 2008. School drop out and fallout from idiopathic epilepsy in rural Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 37(1), pp.8–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v37i1.83
Published on 25 Sep 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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