Author(s): Baker GA, Brooks J, Buck D, Jacoby A
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Abstract 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 drugs (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.
This article was published in Epilepsia
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry