This qualitative study explored the challenges that Greek parents/caregivers of children with controlled epilepsy (CwE) face regarding the disorder.
Interviews were conducted based on open-ended questions guided by a review of the literature. A total of 91 parents/caregivers were recruited by neurologists at the neurology clinics of two Athens public hospitals. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to explore parent/caregiver experiences. The data were grouped and analyzed through a textual interpretation.
Two key challenges were identified for parents of CwE: the disclosure of epilepsy and the absence of adequate information about coping with epilepsy. Parents in Greece were hesitant to reveal their child's epilepsy to school staff and their wider social milieu. Also, although satisfied with the patient-centered approach they experienced with their hospital doctor, parents/caregivers found that they needed more education about the existing sources of psychosocial and emotional support to cope with their child's epilepsy personally and as a family. Finally, the parents/caregivers who let their child know about the epilepsy and discussed the implications with the child found that parent–child communication improved.
This study provides valuable insight into the impact of epilepsy on parents of CwE, which might help hospital and school staff support families with greater understanding, sensitivity, and skill. The findings suggest that Greek authorities should staff hospitals and schools with experts and more systematically advertise sources of information about epilepsy and ways to cope with it.
- Epilepsi, forældre, barn, samtykke, kvalitativ forskning