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J Indian Med Assoc. 1997 Feb; 95(2): 37-9, 47.

Epilepsy in rural Haryana--prevalence and treatment seeking behaviour.

Singh A, Kaur A.

Department of Community Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.

A community-based epidemiological study on epilepsy was conducted in rural North India in 1992-94 to estimate the extent of the problem and to study the treatment seeking behaviour of epilepsy patients. A key informant-based survey was conducted by a social worker to enlist suspect epilepsy cases in catchment population (30,000) spreading over in 40 villages of a primary health centre. These cases were verified by a neurologist. The prevalence of epilepsy was 4.2/1000 and it was more in males and in young children (> 6 to 15 years). Majority (81%) had already been diagnosed by qualified doctors. Many (57%) had a fit in last year. In 68% cases the disease onset was in childhood (up to 14 years). Half of the cases had the disease for 6 years or more. Multiple agencies were consulted by most (74%) of them. Faith healers and local practitioners (not medical graduates) were consulted as the first agency in 57% cases. Positive family history was elicited in 36% cases.

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