Background: Epilepsy is a chronic condition requiring compliance to long treatment regimes. Knowledge on epilepsy can affect compliance to treatment. Pediatric epileptic patients need caregivers for their care; however, prior research showed that caregivers had inadequate knowledge in epilepsy. In view of this, outpatient pharmacist epilepsy service was set up in collaboration with neurologists to bridge knowledge gaps.
Objective: To determine if caregiver education provided by outpatient pharmacists is associated with improved knowledge in epilepsy and its management.
Setting: Pediatric outpatient clinic at a pediatric and women's health hospital.
Methods: A cross-sectional pre- to post-intervention study using scores of caregiver knowledge of epilepsy as the primary outcome was conducted. The intervention was one counseling session by pharmacists. A knowledge questionnaire (A) was administered to the caregiver to obtain baseline information before the session and readministered by telephone (C) 2 weeks post-session. Additionally, a perception questionnaire (B) was administered immediately after the session.
Main outcome measure: Knowledge scores pre and post pharmacist counseling.
Results: Twenty-seven completed questionnaire sets (A, B and C) were collected from 55 caregivers who received the intervention (response rate = 49 %) between September 2010 and May 2011. Average post-counseling knowledge scores was significantly higher than pre-counseling scores (14.7 vs. 10.4, p = 0.000) (score range -21 to 21). Caregivers' confidence to administer antiepileptic drugs to the child increased significantly from 3.60 to 3.94 post-counseling (p = 0.002, score range 0-5). Mean total satisfaction score was 36.00 (score range 5-40).
Conclusion: A specialized counseling session given by pharmacists increased caregiver's knowledge about epilepsy and medication adherence. The session was well received by caregivers. Pharmacists should continue to be involved in the care of epileptic patients.