Parents of epileptic children are willing to know if specific foods precipitate or aggravate their kids′ seizures. Nonetheless conclusive data are limited. Alternative medicine has become a popular approach to many diseases in the world and there are limited data about this approach to epilepsy in Iran. We tried to evaluate attitude of parents of epileptic children to food-epilepsy relationship and alternative therapeutic approach to epilepsy.
We carried out a cross-sectional study with analytic aspect at Children′s Medical Center, Tehran, Iran in 2008, by asking the parents of epileptic children to fill out a valid and excellently reliable questionnaire. We collected parents′ attitude and analyzed it using SPSS software.
One-hundred and fifty one families participated in the study. Fifty-nine of participants (39.1%) believed that foods had no effect on epilepsy. Fifty one cases (33.8%) said that foods might have negative or positive effect on epilepsy and 2 7.1% (41 cases) had no idea. Higher percent of parents believed in food-epilepsy relation in cases that fathers had educational levels above high school graduation. Sixteen cases (10.6%) said that alternative medicine might improve epilepsy and 55% had no idea about efficacy of this approach to epilepsy.
Compared with previous published study from Iran, parents of epileptic children believed less in food-epilepsy relation. Majority of parents either believed that foods had no effect on epilepsy or had no idea. More than half of parents had no idea about efficacy of alternative medicine to epilepsy. Only a few of them believed in ameliorating effects of alternative medicine on epilepsy.