KOCHEN Sara Silvia
Epilepsy education campaign in Buenos Aires city
SOMOZA, MANUEL J.; FORLENZA, RAÚL H.; BRUSSINO, MARTA; GIUNTA, ANA M.; CENTURIÓN, ESTELA; CAMPANILLE, VERÓNICA; KNORRE, EDUARDO; KOCHEN, SILVIA
ELSEVIER SCIENCE B. V.
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Abstract Introduction In the city of Buenos Aires children with epilepsy are usually adequately diagnosed and treated. Nevertheless, the general community holds a certain degree of prejudice and is not well informed leading to misdiagnoses and treatment errors. We conducted an educational campaign in schools and hospitals aimed at correcting these popular misconceptions. People and methods Working at common primary schools, a specially trained team used theatre scenes to portray children experiencing epileptic seizures before an audience of schoolchildren, parents and teachers. In addition, seminars on seizures in childhood were organized for pediatric staff at district hospitals. We conducted a survey to assess the efficacy of the intervention and evaluated drawings and narratives relating to the activities. Results Activities were conducted in a friendly atmosphere encouraging questions and participation through narratives. The survey showed that the intervention helped reduce prejudice and raise awareness on issues such as the fact that epilepsy is a condition affecting the brain that it is not contagious, that children with epilepsy can attend common schools, participate in sport activities and achieve high professional goals. Pediatricians participated actively in seminars. Conclusions Use of drama sessions in school communities helped to raise awareness and reduce prejudice about epilepsy in the population. Training pediatricians also contributed to improve disease management.