Abstract 11.1.8
 

 

 

Awareness of Women’s Issues in Epilepsy: A Survey of Physicians in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Calabar.

 

 

 

S.K. Oparah1, E. Philip-Ephraim1, U. Williams1 and T.I. Igbo2

1University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar

2Novartis Pharma Services

 

Abstract: To assess the knowledge of women’s issues in epilepsy among physicians in the Cross River State Ministry of Health Workforce, those who attended a CME program on seizure disorders in Calabar, were requested to complete the KOWIE II questionnaire. Thirty nine physicians participated in the survey. One third of the respondents were aware of the effects of sex hormones on seizures, and the higher incidence of sexual dysfunction among women with epilepsy. Half of them were aware of undesirable effects of anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) on bone health. Two thirds were aware that pregnant women with epilepsy should not stop their medications, and that the best AED is the one most appropriate for the seizure type and syndrome. Three quarters of the respondents were aware of the need to administer folic acid and vitamin K to pregnant women and neonates of women on AEDs respectively. About 56% of them were aware that women on AEDs can safely breast feed. The overall mean KOWIE II score was 61.0%. The mean KOWIE II scores were 67.4%, 66.7%, 60%, 45% and 23.3% for physicians n the departments of general practice, medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics/gynaecology and surgery respectively. This set of physicians is not well informed about the issues affecting women with epilepsy, including those in the obstetrics/gynaecology department, who deal primarily with women’s health. There is need for aggressive training efforts to bridge the gap in knowledge.  

 

Keywords: awareness, women’s issues in epilepsy, Calabar

 

 

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