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The stigma of epilepsy: A European perspective

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Deborah Buck, Dr Ann Jacoby


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Purpose: To study the stigma of epilepsy in a European sample. Methods: Clinical and demographic details and information about patient-perceived stigma was collected by using self-completed questionnaires mailed to members of epilepsy support groups. Results: Stigma data were collected from >5,000 patients living in 15 countries in Europe. Fifty-one percent reported feeling stigmatised, with 18% reporting feeling highly stigmatised. High scores were correlated with worry, negative feelings about life, long-term health problems, injuries, and reported side effects of antiepileptic drags (AEDs). Cross-cultural comparisons revealed significant differences between countries. A multivariate analysis identified impact of epilepsy, age of onset, country of origin, feelings about life, and injuries associated with epilepsy as significant contributors on scores on the stigma scale. Conclusions: This study confirms the findings of previous studies that have identified the importance of both clinical and nonclinical factors in understanding the stigma of epilepsy. The results of cross-cultural differences require further explanation, and much more research should be conducted to reduce the stigma associated with epilepsy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Baker GA, Brooks J, Buck D, Jacoby A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Epilepsia

Year: 2000

Volume: 41

Issue: 1

Pages: 98-104

Print publication date: 01/01/2000

ISSN (print): 0013-9580

ISSN (electronic): 1528-1167

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


PubMed id: 10643931