Objective: The objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of epilepsy with Tonic-Clonic (TC) seizures in rural areas of the Bolivian Gran Chaco and to evaluate the usefulness of telemedicine in this context. Methods: The study was carried out in the Isozo Area, southern-eastern Bolivia. Twenty-five rural communities with a population of 8258 inhabitants were included in the survey. Trained community-health workers administered a validated single screening question to the householders (stage I). A second face-to-face questionnaire was administered to each positive subject (stage II). At stage II subjects were also screened using the smartphone app "Epilepsy Diagnosis Aid". Subjects screened positive at stage II underwent a complete neurological examination to confirm the diagnosis (stage III). Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, some subjects have been evaluated through a digital platform (Zoom®). Results: One-thousand two-hundred and thirteen interviews were performed at stage I, corresponding to a total screened population of 6692 inhabitants. Thirty-eight screened positive were identified at stage I and II and of these, 28 people with epilepsy were identified, giving an overall prevalence of 4.2/1000 (95% CI 2.6-5.7). Prevalence rate steeply increased with age reaching a peak of 7.9/1000 in the population aged 20-29 years without significant differences between women and men. For almost 50% of the screened positive subjects, confirmation of epilepsy by a neurologist at stage III was achieved through simple videoconsultation. After a simultaneous awareness campaign, 22 self-reported PWE requested a consultation and, among them, 11 had a diagnosis of epilepsy confirmed. Significance: This study shows a prevalence estimate close to those reported for LMIC. Simple videoconsultation and specific apps may be valuable tools in epidemiological research. Awareness campaigns are important allies for a full case identification, particularly in contexts where higher rates of stigma are recorded.

Prevalence of epilepsy in the rural area of the Bolivian Gran Chaco: Usefulness of telemedicine and impact of awareness campaigns / Todaro, Valeria; Giuliano, Loretta; Cicero, Calogero Edoardo; Spina, Ludovica; Colli, Chiara; Cuellar, Senovia; Cosmi, Francesco; Vilte, Estela; Bartoloni, Alessandro; Crespo Gómez, Elizabeth Blanca; Nicoletti, Alessandra. - In: EPILEPSIA OPEN. - ISSN 2470-9239. - ELETTRONICO. - (2022), pp. 0-0. [10.1002/epi4.12677]

Prevalence of epilepsy in the rural area of the Bolivian Gran Chaco: Usefulness of telemedicine and impact of awareness campaigns

Bartoloni, Alessandro;Nicoletti, Alessandra
2022

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of epilepsy with Tonic-Clonic (TC) seizures in rural areas of the Bolivian Gran Chaco and to evaluate the usefulness of telemedicine in this context. Methods: The study was carried out in the Isozo Area, southern-eastern Bolivia. Twenty-five rural communities with a population of 8258 inhabitants were included in the survey. Trained community-health workers administered a validated single screening question to the householders (stage I). A second face-to-face questionnaire was administered to each positive subject (stage II). At stage II subjects were also screened using the smartphone app "Epilepsy Diagnosis Aid". Subjects screened positive at stage II underwent a complete neurological examination to confirm the diagnosis (stage III). Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, some subjects have been evaluated through a digital platform (Zoom®). Results: One-thousand two-hundred and thirteen interviews were performed at stage I, corresponding to a total screened population of 6692 inhabitants. Thirty-eight screened positive were identified at stage I and II and of these, 28 people with epilepsy were identified, giving an overall prevalence of 4.2/1000 (95% CI 2.6-5.7). Prevalence rate steeply increased with age reaching a peak of 7.9/1000 in the population aged 20-29 years without significant differences between women and men. For almost 50% of the screened positive subjects, confirmation of epilepsy by a neurologist at stage III was achieved through simple videoconsultation. After a simultaneous awareness campaign, 22 self-reported PWE requested a consultation and, among them, 11 had a diagnosis of epilepsy confirmed. Significance: This study shows a prevalence estimate close to those reported for LMIC. Simple videoconsultation and specific apps may be valuable tools in epidemiological research. Awareness campaigns are important allies for a full case identification, particularly in contexts where higher rates of stigma are recorded.
2022
0
0
Todaro, Valeria; Giuliano, Loretta; Cicero, Calogero Edoardo; Spina, Ludovica; Colli, Chiara; Cuellar, Senovia; Cosmi, Francesco; Vilte, Estela; Bartoloni, Alessandro; Crespo Gómez, Elizabeth Blanca; Nicoletti, Alessandra
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1357197
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