Evaluation of the efficiency of the web-based epilepsy education program (WEEP) for youth with epilepsy and parents: A randomized controlled trial

Background

When youth with epilepsy and their parents have insufficient information about the
disease, they are known to have more problems with disease management, and they show
poor compliance. Providing accurate, reliable, and accessible information with no
time and space limitations is extremely important for individuals with epilepsy as
well as for their caregivers.

Aim

In this study, we aimed to evaluate the content, quality, usability, and efficacy
of our web-based epilepsy education program (WEEP) that we developed for youth with
epilepsy and their parents.

Methods

The sample of this randomized controlled trail was composed of youth with epilepsy
who were between the ages of 9 and 18 years and their parents who had applied to the
Pediatric Neurology Unit of a tertiary healthcare hospital in Turkey between November
2017 and April 2018. This study was conducted in two stages: (1) the preparation phase,
during which we developed a WEEP for epilepsy, and tested its content, quality, and
usability; and (2) the implementation phase, during which we evaluated the efficacy
of the website by assessing users’ knowledge of epilepsy, seizure self-efficacy, attitudes,
and e-health literacy. Before the implementation phase, data collection tools were
used to test the prior knowledge of epilepsy of the participants and control groups.
Next, the youth and their parents were asked to use the WEEP for 12 weeks, while a
control group was not provided with additional education tools. Written consent was
obtained from the participants prior to the study in addition to obtaining approval
from the ethics committee and permission from the institution where the research was
conducted. The data were finally analyzed using SAS 9.4 software.

Results

During the preparation phase, the website was developed and tested for content, quality,
and usability. The WEEP was graded 72.7 ± 3.4 points by experts, 92.4 ± 1.63 by youth
with epilepsy, and 92.31 ± 1.94 by the parents. During the implementation phase, the
efficacy of the web site was evaluated through the assessment of participants’ scores.
We found that the mean knowledge, seizure self-efficacy, attitude, and e-health literacy
scores of youth with epilepsy in the experimental group had significantly increased
after the WEEP (p < 0.05). An increase in the scores of knowledge, anxiety, self-management,
and e-health literacy scale was also found among the parents in the intervention group
(p < 0.05).

Conclusion

The content, quality, and usability of the WEEP were adequate and effective in improving
knowledge, self-efficacy, attitudes, and e-health literacy of youth with epilepsy
as well as those of their parents.

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