Parental attitude and adjustment to childhood epilepsy

S. H. Ju, P. F. Chang, Y. J. Chen, C. C. Huang, J. J. Tsai

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Abstract

Parental attitude and adjustment were examined in 20 epileptic children (ages 6.8-16.6 yrs), using semi-structured interview. The results indicated that parental understandings of epilepsy were generally poor and incorrect. Fifteen (75%) of 20 parents had their own interpretations of causality and 19 (95%) had unrealistic hope for early and complete cure. Parents tended to overprotect and overrestrict their children. Sixteen (80%) concealed the illness for fear of social prejudice, therefore the social support systems were generally poorly utilized. As in other chronic diseases, all parents went through feelings of shock, denial, anger, guilt, fear, anxiety and depression. Family relationships were not affected much, however, poor communications were commonly found between parents and children. Thirteen (65%) parents never talked to their children about epilepsy. We concluded that parents of epileptic children showed negative attitudes toward their children and had difficulties in their psychosocial adjustment probably related to social stigmata and misunderstanding of the illness. Therefore, communication between physician and parents in both medical and psychosocial aspects should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica Sinica
Volume31
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Ju, S. H., Chang, P. F., Chen, Y. J., Huang, C. C., & Tsai, J. J. (1990). Parental attitude and adjustment to childhood epilepsy. Acta Paediatrica Sinica, 31(2), 103-109.