Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 959274, 6 pages
Research Article

The Perception of Family Function by Adolescents with Epilepsy in a Rural Nigerian Community

1Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria 810001, Nigeria
2Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital (FNPH), Kaduna, Nigeria
3Department of Paediatrics, 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, Nigeria
4Department of Family Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria 810001, Nigeria

Received 24 August 2014; Revised 2 November 2014; Accepted 3 November 2014; Published 25 November 2014

Academic Editor: Giangennaro Coppola

Copyright © 2014 Edwin E. Eseigbe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The family plays a significant role in epilepsy management in sub-Saharan Africa and how this role is perceived by persons with epilepsy could influence epilepsy outcomes. The objective of the study was to assess perception of family function by adolescents with epilepsy (AWE). The sociodemographic and epilepsy characteristics of AWE in a rural Nigerian community were assessed and the Family APGAR tool was used in assessing their perception of satisfaction with family functioning. Adolescents () constituted 26% of the community’s population and 18 (10.5/1000) had epilepsy. The AWE age range was 11–19 years (mean years) with a male preponderance (15, 83.3%). The family was the only source of care. Family dysfunction (Family APGAR Score <7) was indicated by 15 (83.3%) of the AWE. The strongest perception of family function was in adaptability while the weakest was with growth. The indication of family dysfunction was significant () in the older (age 14–19 years) AWE when compared with the younger AWE (11–13 years) in the study. Most of the AWE indicated living in a dysfunctional family setting. The study highlights the need to address the role of the family in the provision of comprehensive epilepsy care.