School performance of Nigerian adolescents with epilepsy
Department of Mental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Wesley Guild Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria; Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun Stat
Purpose: The study assessed the school performance of Nigerian adolescents with epilepsy compared with healthy controls and examined the variables correlating with their academic difficulties. Methods: The school grades of adolescents with epilepsy aged 12 to 18 years (n = 73) over the past academic year were compared with the grades of their classmates of the same age and gender. Risk factors possibly associated with school performance, such as adolescent variables (age, gender, perceived stigma, attitude toward epilepsy, and psychopathology), seizure variables (age at onset of illness, years of illness, types of seizures, and frequency of seizures per month), drug variables [types of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), number of AEDs and side effects of AEDs], and family variables (family's socioeconomic status, family functioning, caretakers' psychopathology, and caretakers' perceived stigma) were assessed. Results: The mean school grades of adolescents with epilepsy are significantly lower than are those of their healthy controls (p < 0.001) in all the subjects. The variables that significantly predict poor school performance in adolescents with epilepsy include psychopathology in the caretaker (p < 0.001), adolescents' perceived poor family functioning (p = 0.002), adolescents' attitude toward the illness (p = 0.001), adolescents' felt stigma (p = 0.002), externalizing symptoms in the adolescents (p = 0.004), and duration of illness (p = 0.024). Conclusions: The determinants of poor school performance in adolescents with epilepsy in Nigeria are multivariate, with psychosocial factors most important. These should be noted for early identification and screening of those children at greatest risk for academic failure and the greatest need for appropriate educational remediation services. © 2006 International League Against Epilepsy.
anticonvulsive agent; carbamazepine; phenytoin; valproic acid; academic achievement; adolescent; adult; age distribution; anticonvulsant therapy; article; caregiver; comparative study; controlled study; correlation analysis; disease classification; disease duration; epilepsy; family life; female; groups by age; human; major clinical study; male; mental disease; morbidity; Nigeria; onset age; patient attitude; priority journal; risk factor; school child; sex difference; social psychology; social status; unspecified side effect; Achievement; Adolescent; Adolescent Behavior; African Continental Ancestry Group; Age Factors; Anticonvulsants; Attitude to Health; Caregivers; Child; Epilepsy; Female; Health Status; Humans; Learning Disorders; Male; Mental Disorders; Nigeria; Risk Factors; Sex Factors; Stereotyping; Students