Public knowledge toward Epilepsy and its determinants in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis


      • Epilepsy is the most neglected health problem in developing countries.
      • Poor knowledge about epilepsy increases stigma and discrimination.
      • In Ethiopia, around half of the participants had poor knowledge about epilepsy.



      Epilepsy is a global problem that affects all countries and people of all ages. However, the disease burden is high in low- and middle-income countries. Poor public knowledge of epilepsy increases the rate of stigma and discrimination. However, in our country, there is a scarcity of summarized evidence about the level of public knowledge toward epilepsy. Therefore, to fill this gap, conducting this review and meta-analysis has a preponderant significance.


      Articles were explored from PubMed, PsycINFO, Hinari, Science Direct, web of science, and African journal of online (AJOL) databases, Google, and Google scholar. For data extraction and analysis purposes, Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and STATA software version 16 were used. To write this report, we used the Preferred Reporting Items for systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis. To assess the pooled magnitude of public knowledge toward epilepsy, we used a random-effects meta-analysis model. We checked the Heterogeneity by I2. To detect publication bias, Begg’s test, Egger’s test, and funnel plot were conducted. Furthermore, subgroup analysis was conducted. Association was expressed through a pooled odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval.


      Our review and meta-analysis included 9 studies with 5658 participants. The pooled magnitude of poor knowledge toward epilepsy was 48.54% [95% CI (33.57, 63.51)]. I2 was 99.4% (P < 0.01). Begg’s and Egger’s test results were 0.92 and 0.06, respectively. Cannot read and write OR: 2.86 [95 CI (2.04, 4.00]) and not witnessing seizure episode OR: 3.00 [95% CI (2.46, 3.66)]) were significant determinants of poor knowledge.


      In this review and meta-analysis, around half of the participants had poor knowledge about epilepsy. Individuals who cannot read and write, and could not witness seizure episodes had more likely to have poor knowledge toward epilepsy as compared to their counterparts. Health education through different methods should be provided to the public, and our educational system should focus on this global problem. Furthermore, it is better to give training for community key informants.


      AJOL (African journal online), CI (confidence interval), OR (odds ratio), SNNP (South nations and nationalities people), USA (United States of America), WHO (World Health Organization)


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