Knowledge of, perceptions of, and attitudes toward epilepsy among university students in Kuwait

Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait.
Epilepsy & Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.26). 02/2009; 14(2):367-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.11.015
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Limited knowledge of epilepsy was reported in seven studies [59,62–67], and average knowledge was reported in four studies [68] [69] [70] [71]. Negative attitudes toward epilepsy were reported in seven studies [61] [62] [64] [66] [70] [72] [73]. However, moderately positive attitudes were reported in two studies [66] [68]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study reviewed research conducted on the psychological aspects of epilepsy in Arab countries. Several databases (Medline, PubMed, Science Direct, Springer Link, and PsycInfo) were searched using the following two sets of search words: (1) Arab, Jordan, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Algiers, Palestine, Mauritania, Djibouti, Sudan, Comoros, and Somalia; and (2) epilepsy, seizure disorders, and convulsive disorders. Fifty-one studies were conducted in 12 Arab states. Social/emotional, employment, and other problems; knowledge and attitudes; and quality of life (QOL) were the most commonly measured parameters of psychosocial aspects of epilepsy in Arab countries. Results revealed elevated levels of depression and anxiety, a decline in cognitive function, various behavioral problems, sexual dysfunction, and underemployment among persons with epilepsy (PWE). Misconceptions about epilepsy were found to be prevalent. While many studies reported limited knowledge of epilepsy, some studies found an average knowledge. Negative attitudes toward epilepsy were reported in most studies, and moderately positive attitudes were reported in some studies. Finally, PWE showed low overall QOL scores in the majority of studies.
    Epilepsy & Behavior 02/2014; 31:256–262. DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.09.033 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "In Kuwait, the focus of this paper, 22.5–64.3% of marriages are between spouses who are blood relatives (Tadmouri et al., 2009). The limited data available suggest that awareness of intellectual disability in the Middle East is low (Bener & Ghuloum, 2011) and that belief in supernatural causes of intellectual disability is high (Al-Rashed et al., 2009). This parallels the importance of supernatural beliefs about mental illness in Arab contexts (Al-Adawi, Dorvlo, & Al-Ismaily, 2006). "
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