Original Research

Experience of the new seizure diary in the Free State and Northern Cape

Chika K. Egenasi, Anandan A. Moodley, Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Gina Joubert
South African Family Practice | Vol 65, No 1 : Part 2| a5736 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v65i1.5736 | © 2023 Chika K. Egenasi, Anandan A. Moodley, Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Gina Joubert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 March 2023 | Published: 26 May 2023

About the author(s)

Chika K. Egenasi, Department of Family Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Anandan A. Moodley, Department of Neurology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Wilhelm J. Steinberg, Department of Family Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Gina Joubert, Department of Biostatistics, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Epilepsy is a neurological disease affecting adults and children globally. A seizure diary is one of the self-management tools for tracking seizures. This study aims to ascertain the experience of a new seizure diary by persons completing the diary in the Free State and Northern Cape of South Africa.

Methods: Adult patients with epilepsy attending Universitas Academic Hospital epilepsy clinic in Bloemfontein, clinics in Kimberley and the casualty department of Kimberley hospital (Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe hospital) received a new seizure diary. After using the diary for 6 months, participants (patients, relatives or caregivers) completed a questionnaire.

Results: A total of 139 epilepsy patients received a new seizure diary; 67 previously diary-unexposed participants and 33 participants who had previous exposure to a seizure diary. The majority of participants, namely 91% of previously diary-unexposed and 84.9% of participants who had previous exposure to the seizure diary, understood the new seizure diary. Participants who had previous exposure to a seizure diary were predominantly very positive about the new diary because it had more information. However, 21.2% indicated that they preferred the old one because it was easier to complete.

Conclusion: Patients, caregivers or relatives from both groups used the new seizure diary and provided important information about their experience with the new diary. Despite a few complaints about using the new diary, most participants who had previous exposure to a seizure diary preferred the new seizure diary.

Contribution: This study explored participants’ opinions of the new seizure diary.


Keywords

seizure diary; epilepsy; paper diary; electronic diary; seizure frequency; participants who had previous exposure to a seizure diary; previously diary-unexposed participants

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