Objective To evaluate the epilepsy knowledge among health professionals in São Paulo, Brazil.
Design This is a cross-sectional study.
Participants Professionals with academic degrees in physical education (n=134), nutrition (n=116), medicine (n=100), psychology (n=53), nursing (n=122) and physiotherapy (n=99) who lived in São Paulo City, Brazil.
Primary and secondary outcome measures Knowledge of health professionals about epilepsy.
Methods Professionals with academic degrees in physical education (n=134), nutrition (n=116), medicine (n=100), psychology (n=53), nursing (n=122) and physiotherapy (n=99) who lived in São Paulo City, Brazil, were invited to participate in the study. The subjects (n=624) answered a questionnaire composed of 25 simple closed-ended questions from three areas: personal, educational and knowledge.
Results Out of all subjects, 88.5% (n=552) had a postgraduate education, while 11.5% (n=72) had only an undergraduate degree. The authors found that physical educators, nutritionists and physiotherapists received lower scores on their epilepsy knowledge than other health professionals.
Conclusions Health professionals are considered better-educated group inside the society, especially with regards to healthcare issues. Thus, it is important they also have an accurate and correct knowledge about epilepsy. The findings of the present study indicate an imperative improvement in education about epilepsy, as well as an inclusion of formal programmes for epilepsy education especially for non-medical professionals. An improvement in epilepsy education might contribute to an improvement in epilepsy care and management.
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To cite: Vancini RL, Benedito-Silva AA, Sousa BS, et al. Knowledge about epilepsy among health professionals: a cross-sectional survey in São Paulo, Brazil. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000919. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000919
Contributors RLV: study concept and design; data acquisition, analysis and interpretation and manuscript preparation. AAB-S and BSS: data analysis, interpretation and manuscript preparation. SGS and MIS-V: data acquisition and critical revision of the manuscript. CRV-C, FRC, CdL: data acquisition, analysis and interpretation. CABL: study concept and design, data analysis, interpretation and critical revision of the manuscript.
Funding This research was conducted with the authors' resources.
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Committee of Ethics in Research from UNIFESP (Federal University of São Paulo).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data.
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