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Academic Performance of School Children With Epilepsy

RC Ibekwe, NC Ojinnaka, SO Iloeje

Abstract




Background: Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological disease encountered among school children in Nigeria. Studies in developed countries show conflicting reports on it\'s effect on academic performance. There is also a dearth of information on the academic performance of Nigerian children with epilepsy. Aim: To determine the academic performance of children with epilepsy, hoping that our findings will help in formulating policies that will be used in their educational programme. Method: The academic performance of 50 consecutively recruited epileptic children aged between 5 –14years attending normal Primary school in Enugu and presenting at the Paediatric Neurology clinic of UNTH Enugu, was compared with those of non-epileptic classmates who were matched for age, sex and socio-economic status. The academic performance was assessed using the overall scores achieved in the terminal examination in the 2001/2002 academic years, as well as the scores in individual subjects. Results: There were 36 males and 14 Females (Male: Female ratio was 2:1). The most common seizure type among the epileptic children was generalized tonic-clonic seizure seen in 58% of the children. Twenty six percent of the epileptic children had a low overall score, and therefore poor academic performance, compared to 16% of the controls. (P=0.35). The difference was not statistically significant. However, the Mean score of the epileptic children was significantly lower than that of the controls in certain subjects, viz: English (P=0.02), Sciences (P=0.02) and Social studies (P=0.02). Conclusion: It is concluded that the overall academic performance of epileptic children without other chronic disorders attending normal schools is not different from that of normal children in the same setting, though they are under-achieving in some subjects.

Keywords: Academic Performance; School Children; Epilepsy.

Journal of College of Medicine Vol. 13 (1) 2008: pp. 18-22



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