The Stigma of Epilepsy: A European Perspective
Version of Record online: 2 AUG 2005
Volume 41, Issue 1, pages 98–104, January 2000
How to Cite
Baker, G. A., Brooks, J., Buck, D. and Jacoby, A. (2000), The Stigma of Epilepsy: A European Perspective. Epilepsia, 41: 98–104. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.2000.tb01512.x
- Issue online: 2 AUG 2005
- Version of Record online: 2 AUG 2005
- June 17, 1999.
- Quality of life;
Summary: 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.