Author(s): Prus N, Grant AC
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Abstract We assessed beliefs about epilepsy and brain surgery and the use of alternative epilepsy treatments in a culturally diverse population of people with epilepsy (PWE). Data were obtained from a structured questionnaire administered to 109 PWE treated at a single epilepsy center. Patients were born in 17 countries on five continents. Most patients identified culturally with the Caribbean (41\%), United States (39\%), or Latin America (9\%). Sixty-nine percent of patients endorsed at least one of five stigma-related questions, and 77\% used at least one alternative epilepsy treatment. Brain surgery was rated as having a mean dangerousness of 8.3 (on a scale of 1 to 10) among the 94 patients with no history of neurosurgery. In addition, 51\% of these patients would not consider surgical treatment even if it were guaranteed to stop their seizures without causing deficits. Educational efforts aimed at reducing both the stigma associated with epilepsy and the fear of resective epilepsy surgery are needed. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Epilepsy Behav
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry