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

ArticleinEpilepsy & Behavior 14(2):367-71 · February 2009with45 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.26 · 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.