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Psychosocial well-being in children with epilepsy


N M R Fernandopulle ,

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, LK
About N M R
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
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K W D A Anuradha,

About K W D A
Medical Practitioner
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U K M D A Samarasekara,

About U K M D A
Medical Practitioner
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B M R Fernandopulle

Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo
About B M R
Professor of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo
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Objective: To examine the aptitude, school performance and parent satisfaction (psychosocial wellbeing) of epileptic children in comparison to a control group

Method: A prospective study was conducted from 30th May to 8th August 2005 at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo. Data was collected by a trained investigator. All children between the ages of 6 and 10 years, diagnosed with epilepsy for a period extending 2 years, and attending the hospital during the study period, were included as cases. Only children who were attending school (mainstream or special needs) were included. 102 questionnaires were administered and none were discarded. The controls were identified from 3 primary schools in the same district. Each epileptic child was matched by age and sex with a non-epileptic child. The social class profiles of the 2 groups did not differ significantly. Each participating parent completed a pre-tested questionnaire to assess the psychosocial well-being of the epileptic children and their parents. This was followed by a standardized aptitude test which was completed by both cases and controls. The data was entered into the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 12 for Windows to examine the differences between the groups via frequency distributions.

Results: When compared with the non-epilepsy sample, the epilepsy sample was characterised by low academic achievement, extra-curricular participation, self and life skills, dependency, lethargy, restricted independence and less equal opportunity towards success. On the other hand, on items relating to aggressive behaviour and family relationships no significant differences were found between the two groups. On the Aptitude test the average score by an epileptic child was 4.12/10 whereas it was 8.42/10 in the control group.

Conclusion: The psychosocial wellbeing of epileptic children is poor in comparison to the control group.

(Keywords: children; psychosocial well-being; parent satisfaction; aptitude)


How to Cite: Fernandopulle, N.M.R., Anuradha, K.W.D.A., Samarasekara, U.K.M.D.A. and Fernandopulle, B.M.R., 2012. Psychosocial well-being in children with epilepsy. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 41(3), pp.123–128. DOI:
Published on 31 Aug 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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