Community Health Worker Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Towards Epilepsy in Mozambique
Background: Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease in the world, affecting 50 million people, with the majority living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). A major focus of epilepsy treatment in LMICs has focused on task-sharing identification and epilepsy care by community health workers (CHWs). The present study aimed to assess the KAPs of CHWs towards epilepsy in Sofala province, Mozambique.Methods: One hundred and thirty five CHWs completed a questionnaire that included
... re that included socio-demographic characteristics and 44-items divided in six subscales pertaining to KAPs towards epilepsy (QKAP-EPI) in nine districts of Sofala Province, Mozambique. The internal consistency and factor structure were examined to evaluate the reliability and construct validity of the QKAP-EPI, respectively. To examine correlates of KAPs toward epilepsy we evaluated the association between sociodemographic variables and QKAP-EPI subscales using linear regression models.Results: CHWs demonstrated adequate knowledge regarding epilepsy for medical treatment details (Mean=1.63, SD=0.28) and epilepsy safety/risks (Mean=1.62, SD=0.59). However, CHWs reported low levels of knowledge related to the causes of epilepsy, espousing stigmatizing attitudes, as well as cultural treatment, which is the perception in different cultures of how epilepsy should be treated. Knowledge about how to manage epilepsy during crisis varied across the different types of emergency care practices. Heterogeneity in the level of knowledge regarding epilepsy was observed among CHWs in the different districts of Sofala Province and when using different local names of epilepsy (Dzumba, Nzwiti).Conclusion: CHWs knowledge of medical treatment and epilepsy safety/risks were adequate. However, information on the causes of epilepsy, stigmatizing attitudes, cultural treatment, and some aspects of epileptic crisis response were low. These areas of poor knowledge should be the focus of educating CHWs in increasing their ability to provide quality care for patients with epilepsy in LMICs.