ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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Worldwide short course education programmes in epilepsy for paediatricians – are they effective?
Alison Gifford, Jo Wilmshurst, Finbar O'Callaghan, Mike Griffiths, Colin Dunkley, Philippa Rodie, Helen Cross, Martin Kirkpatrick

Last modified: 2018-09-09


The UN Sustainable Development Goals include reduction in premature mortality from non-communicable disease and training of the healthcare workforce.  Peer-supported workshop-based training is a proven effective training tool.  The PET (Paediatric Epilepsy Training – BPNA/ILAE) programmes have recently expanded across five continents. A one day standardised curriculum promotes evidence-based, safe practice which is delivered by a trained faculty to a target audience, primarily paediatricians and specialist nurses.

A pragmatic framework was used to measure the effectiveness of these courses.  Data were recorded on attendance, reaction to the course delivery, knowledge gain and changes in practice six months after the course.

6781 clinicians attended a PET Level 1 course over the last 15 years.  Level of seniority and experience did not affect participants’ positive reaction (R2 = 0.05).  Knowledge scores pre and post course increased from 76% to 90%.  Self-reported changes in practice six months following the course by the 323 participants who responded from India, Kenya, Myanmar, New Zealand, South Africa, Sudan and the UK included 66% reporting significant or moderate changes to their personal practice in epilepsy care.  In 2017, specific improvements included improved history-taking (82%), ability to distinguish epileptic and non-epileptic events (85%), no longer prescribing anti-epileptic drugs for febrile seizures (42%) and improved prolonged seizure management (54%). A clear trend to greater reported improvements from low and middle-income country settings was seen.

This data provides evidence for the effectiveness of short-course epilepsy education for clinicians to improve the quality of care for children with epilepsy globally.


Postgraduate Training; Short Course; Epilepsy

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