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Background: Epilepsy is a common neurological disease, which affect people of all ages. It is stigmatizing, unpredictable and disabling illness. The primary objective of this study was to assess the physical and psychosocial problems facing patients with epilepsy. A total of 100 patients with epilepsy were compared with 100 normal subjects to find out the differences between the two groups regarding the physical and psychosocial problems. The questionnaire was generated from previous studies and the short form healthy survey (SF- 36). It was modified and tested for validity and reliability. Results: The mean age of our patients was 32.5 years. 69% from them were single and 68% were male. The result showed that there were statistically differences between the two groups regarding all of the four domains p=0.000. Most of the patients complained from threat to death (88%) and they were affected by the social stigma (86%), more than half of the number of the sample didn’t know why the attack happened (78%), while half of them were unable to control their disease in spite of taking medication. Conclusions: This is an Iraq study prepared to understand the effect of epilepsy on patient's physical and psychosocial functioning. It was found that epilepsy has a great impact on patient's life especially on patients psychological functioning with significant differences. Understanding patient's problems can lead to a good progress in nursing assessment, intervention, and reaching the ultimate goal in controlling these problems that are more likely improve quality of their life.
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Author(s): Khudhur Intisar