This study assessed knowledge and attitudes of undergraduate nursing students toward epilepsy and patients with epilepsy (PWEs). Associations between different sociodemographic and academic variables and knowledge and attitude scores were also assessed.
The present study was conducted in a cross-sectional observational design among Palestinian undergraduate nursing students using a prevalidated and reliable questionnaire of 38 items. After collecting sociodemographic and academic characteristics, students answered a knowledge test (16 items) and attitude test (13 items).
The questionnaire was completed by 342 nursing students. The median knowledge score was 65.6 with an interquartile range (IQR) of 31.3, and the median attitude score was 81.5 with an IQR of 20.0. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that higher knowledge scores were predicted by being female in gender (p-value < 0.05), had a course/studied about epilepsy (p-value < 0.001), self-rated knowledge about epilepsy as high (p-value < 0.05), and ever witnessing a PWE experiencing seizures (p-value < 0.001). Higher attitude scores were predicted by self-rated knowledge about epilepsy as high (p-value < 0.001), had a course/studied about epilepsy (p-value < 0.05), and ever witnessed a PWE experiencing seizures (p-value < 0.05).
Nursing students had moderate knowledge of epilepsy and had generally positive attitudes toward PWEs. Findings of this study highlighted knowledge gaps and areas for improvement. As knowledge scores were positively correlated with attitudes, probably, findings of this study might suggest that educational/training interventions can improve knowledge as well as positive attitudes of nursing students with regard to epilepsy and PWEs.