Factors associated with perceived stigma among patients with epilepsy in Turkey

Yeni K., TÜLEK Z., Bebek N.

Epilepsy and Behavior, vol.60, pp.142-148, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.04.036
  • Journal Name: Epilepsy and Behavior
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.142-148
  • Keywords: Attitude, Epilepsy, Knowledge, Self-efficacy, Social support, Stigma
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: No


Purpose: Epilepsy is one of the most stigmatizing medical conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the perception of stigma and factors associated with stigma. Material and methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among patients attending an epilepsy outpatient clinic of a university hospital between February and October 2014. One hundred ninety-four patients who were over 18 years of age, who were able to communicate, and who had a diagnosis of definite epilepsy constituted the study sample. Patients seizure-free for two years were excluded from the group. Three-item Jacoby's Stigma Scale was used to determine level of stigma, and Social Support Scale, Generalized Self-efficacy Scale, Epilepsy Knowledge Scale, and Epilepsy Attitude Scale were used to examine factors associated with stigma. Results: In total, 66 (34%) out of 194 subjects reported feeling stigmatized, with almost half of them (n = 31) feeling highly stigmatized. Education, income, age at onset, seizure frequency in previous year, social support, and knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy were significant factors determining scores on the stigma scale. It was also determined that stigma was associated with seeking help from mystics, disclosure of the diagnosis, and self-efficacy. Conclusion: 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. Findings support the need for social support, knowledge, and awareness to decrease the stigma associated with epilepsy.