Measurement of Physiologic Health for Children

Volume 3, Seizure Disorders

by Caren Kamberg, Kathleen N. Lohr, Robert H. Brook, George A. Goldberg


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Two types of seizure disorders are discussed: febrile (fever) and nonfebrile (epileptic) seizures. Data on their prevalence and adverse consequences are used in the Health Insurance Experiment (HIE) to investigate the effect of different levels of health insurance on health and quality of care. Febrile seizures were selected because they are fairly prevalent among young children and because they are potentially disruptive to themselves and their parents. Epilepsy, although less prevalent, is a more serious condition. This volume reviews pertinent medical literature, outlines the HIE definition of seizures, describes HIE methods for measuring their presence, discusses enrollment results from the HIE population, and lists criteria for good medical care. Illustrative findings include: 3 percent of HIE children had had febrile seizures and about 1 percent had had nonfebrile seizures. Febrile seizures were more common among girls, whereas epilepsy was slightly more prevalent among boys. Parental worry was the most frequently reported impact.

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