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

Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait.
Epilepsy & Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.06). 02/2009; 14(2):367-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.11.015
Source: PubMed

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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