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Treatment-Seeking Behavior Towards Epilepsy Among Rural Residents in Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors Molla A, Mekuriaw B, Habtamu E, Mareg M

Received 29 November 2019

Accepted for publication 25 January 2020

Published 13 February 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 433—439


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Alemayehu Molla,1 Birhanie Mekuriaw,1 Endashaw Habtamu,1 Moges Mareg2

1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Health Science, Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia; 2Departments of Reproductive Health, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Alemayehu Molla
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Health Science, Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia
Tel +25192073609

Background: Even though a large number of patients live with epilepsy, few of them receive effective treatment. Most people with epilepsy, particularly those from rural communities, do not seek medical care as they are convinced that solutions lie only with traditional healers (traditional leaders, prophets and community elders). Therefore, studying treatment-seeking behavior regarding this major neurological problem would provide additional knowledge and help to identify a gap which needs to be addressed when tackling related problems.
Participants and Methods: This rural community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Gedeo zone, Ethiopia, among 755 participants. Data were collected using face-to-face interview-based questionnaires. Collected data were entered into EpiData version 3.01 and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify associated factors. The strengths of associations were presented as adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals.
Results: The prevalence of poor treatment-seeking behavior was 54.6% (95% CI 51.4, 58.2). Poor knowledge (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=3.21, 95% CI 2.14, 4.81), poor social support (AOR=2.48, 95% CI 1.12, 5.53), unfavorable attitude (AOR=1.84, 95% CI 1.34, 2.54) and having no history of experiencing others’ seizures (AOR=2.17, 95% CI 1.47, 3.2) were variables strongly associated with poor help-seeking behavior towards epilepsy.
Conclusion: The study showed that more than half of the participants had poor treatment-seeking behavior towards epilepsy. This indicates the need to implement measures to raise community awareness regarding treatment options for epilepsy.

Keywords: epilepsy, Ethiopia, rural residents, treatment-seeking behavior

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