The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2021 , Vol 63 , Num 5
Ketogenic diet therapy map of Turkey
Ayşe Serdaroğlu 1 ,Ebru Petek Arhan 1 ,on behalf of the Ketogenic Diet Therapy Map of Turkey Study Group 1
1 Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.05.001 Background. Although the ketogenic diet (KD) is a well-established non-pharmacologic treatment for intractable epilepsy in pediatric patients, it is still perceived as theoretical information contained within textbooks rather than implementation in daily clinical practice. The aim of the present study was to primarily determine KD implementation frequency in daily clinical practice, the number of pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy, the conditions that hindered or facilitated KD implementation, and to provide a roadmap to improve patient outcomes.

Methods. A total of 27 pediatric neurologists, who were experienced in intractable epileptic pediatric patients and the implementation of KDs, responded to a 24-question survey. The survey was structured to outline patient selection criteria for KDs, prevalent treatment approaches in daily clinical practice for intractable epilepsy, level of physician awareness and impediments in KD implementation.

Results. Intractable epilepsy was diagnosed predominantly in children within the 7 to 12-year age group (44%). KD implementation was hindered mainly by lack of an adequate number of personnel (53.8%), lack of a dietitian (52%), inadequate training of patients (24%), and inadequate experience of healthcare professionals (23.1%). Lack of guidance in treatment, physician`s hesitations due to probable problems, inadequate time spent for each patient, lack of awareness for KD therapy, and loss of appetite in these patients were also emphasized by the participants (each 16.7%). Additional drawbacks were non-appealing taste (76.9%), need for continuous supervision (76.9%), and low patient motivation (73.1%). The treatment failure causes for KDs were ranked as imprecise cooking of recipes (94%), inadequate family support (92.3%), inadequate consumption of meals (73%), incorrect indication (53.9%), and inefficiency of KD despite correct application (42.3%).

Conclusion. The panoramic view of KDs in Turkey indicates that a National Guideline would increase both physician awareness level for KD, and the rate of structured therapy implementation in pediatric patients, who suffer from inadequate treatment. Keywords : ketogenic, diet, epilepsy, child

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