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Kazi Humayun Rashid, Darya Khan Laghari, Khalil ur Rahman Kazi & Rahul Roy


Background: Epilepsy is a problem of worldwide medical interest and in addition to incurring significant morbidity and mortality, it has a major psycho-social impact, that is limited not only to the individual experiencing seizures, but affects all members of the family. Younger members of the family have tender minds and are thus most affected. Objective: To assess psychological distress among children being raised in families with epileptic mothers. Methodology: This observational – cross-sectional analysis was conducted upon a sample of 100 children (of both genders and aged 3 to 6 years) presenting alongside their epileptic mothers to the Psychiatry Out-Patient Department of Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences and Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Institute of Psychiatry, Hyderabad from January 2018 to June 2019. Basic bio-data of child and mother, sociodemographic details of family, disease history and particulars of the mother were obtained and recorded onto a structured questionnaire. Reduced version of Psychological Screening for Young Children aged 3 to 6” (PSYCAa3-6) tool was used to screen for psychological distress among children. The data obtained was analyzed using SPSS v.22 & Microsoft Excel 360. Results: Among, the 100 children evaluated, 29% were females while the remaining 71% were males. Nearly 31% of the children were enrolled in schools. The mean number of siblings were 2 and most children were living with both parents. Psychological distress was present (in varying severities) in 59% of the children. The severity of psychological distress correlated with disease severity in mother. Other factors such as number of siblings, number of caretakers and socioeconomic status too played a part. Conclusion: After careful consideration, it can be concluded that epilepsy among mothers does translate, more often than not, into psychological distress in children. Much care is needed to avert negative situation. Keywords:Psychological Distress, Child Mental Health, Epilepsy, Child Behavior, Maternal & Child Health.


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