Knowledge of, perceptions of, and attitudes toward epilepsy among university students in Kuwait.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to explore, using a self-administered questionnaire, university students' knowledge of, perceptions of, and attitudes toward epilepsy. Approximately 1.7% considered epilepsy a contagious disease, and 10.5%, a form of insanity. About 25 and 34% of students thought that epilepsy is caused by an evil spirit and the evil eye, respectively, and 17.4% thought epilepsy is punishment from God. About 8% believed patients with epilepsy should not marry, and 12.5% thought they should not have children. Similarly, 11.7% thought patients with epilepsy cannot think or judge like people without epilepsy, and 26.2% would not employ someone with epilepsy in a clerical job. Approximately 56% objected to marrying someone with epilepsy, and 12.5% would not allow their child to play with a child with epilepsy. In conclusion, university students in Kuwait have a vague knowledge of the causes of epilepsy. Misconceptions about and negative attitudes toward epilepsy are unexpectedly high among these university students.
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ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies in epilepsy have a number of specific problems, discussed here with reference to the published literature. Case ascertainment may pose difficulties because of deficiencies in patients reporting and in the diagnosis of seizures, and inherent methodological problems; the classification of epilepsy is often arbitrary and definitions variable; unsuspected selection bias may markedly influence incidence and prevalence rates. The major published incidence and prevalence studies are reviewed and the factors influencing these rates discussed.Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 08/1987; 50(7):829-39. · 4.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To study the impact of epilepsy and its treatment on the quality of life of people living in Iran and in countries in the Gulf and Near East. Clinical, demographic, and psychosocial details were collected through the use of a self-completed questionnaire distributed to patients attending hospital outpatient clinics. Data were collected from 3,889 people with epilepsy from 10 countries. More than 40% of all respondents had frequent seizures, and reported levels of side effects from medication were high, the most commonly reported being nervousness, headaches, and tiredness. A significant number of respondents reported changing their medications because of side effects or poor seizure control. Respondents reported that epilepsy and its treatment had a significant impact on a number of different aspects of their daily lives. A significant number of respondents felt stigmatized by their epilepsy. Reported health status was reduced when compared with that of people without epilepsy, particularly for physical and social functioning and energy and vitality, as assessed by using a generic health status measure, the SF-36. This is the largest study to date documenting the impact of epilepsy and its treatment in Iran, the Gulf, and Near East regions. Differences were found between the quality-of-life profiles of respondents in this study and those who participated in an earlier parallel study in Europe.Epilepsia 02/2005; 46(1):132-40. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To contribute to a better knowledge of how epilepsy is perceived by traditional healers in Burkina Faso; what means they use to treat it, and how they think about modern treatment. Individual interviews with 65 traditional healers chosen at random from members of the Reelwende Association. All traditional practitioners were of male gender. Most of them were above 50 years of age, and 75% had more than 10 years' experience. Epilepsy was considered to be contagious by 44% of the traditional practitioners, and hereditary according to 40% of them. Roughly, 15% of the healers think that the problem is localized in the head of a person and 7.8% think that they have worms in their head. Thirty-one per cent of them diagnose epilepsy if there is a combination of 'convulsions, sudden fall, dribbling and amnesia'. Another 15% require a combination of 'convulsions, amnesia and dribbling', the remaining 54% make the diagnosis based on one symptom or various combinations of two symptoms of 'grand mal' (generalized tonic clonic) seizures and most claim they have a treatment for it. For a quarter of them, therapeutic-means include concoctions of herbs or roots, baths and infusions. During the fit, 31% of the traditional practitioners think that nothing should be performed. According to 75% of them, traditional and modern treatments are complementary. Notwithstanding important differences in culture and religions (Muslim, Christian and Original), there is great similarity between the knowledge and beliefs about epilepsy reported from other parts of Africa and those presented by our study-group, suggesting an ancient origin of the concepts. Further study is needed to find out how other facets of epilepsy (e.g. complex partial seizures, absences) are perceived and how these are being treated. Ways need to be found to raise awareness about epilepsy without interfering with religious and cultural beliefs.Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 05/2004; 109(4):250-4. · 2.47 Impact Factor