Public awareness and attitudes towards epilepsy in Tehran, Iran
2013 (English)In: Global health action, ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 6, 1-5 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Epilepsy is a prototypical, stigmatised disorder. Numerous studies have been conducted regarding the public perception of epilepsy, but they are primarily from high-income western countries; few studies have taken place in low-to middle-income countries with a traditional culture and a religious orientation. Objective: The public knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy in Tehran, Iran, is studied. Design: A survey of 800 subjects ranging from 18 to 85 years was randomly chosen from households in Tehran in 2009. The questionnaire used was based on the Caveness and Gallup's studies conducted in the United States in 1949 and it has been used in numerous similar studies all over the world. The mean age of the participants was 37.5 years and 46.7% were female. Pearson's Chi-squared test was used for subgroup analyses. Results: The majority of subjects cited brain disorders as a cause of epilepsy, while 17% indicated the will of God as the cause. Most individuals were willing to work with a person with epilepsy, allow their children to play with a child with epilepsy, and allow people with epilepsy to use public transportation (78-82%). However, only 28% were willing to accept the marriage of a family member to someone with epilepsy. Conclusion: The knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy are similar to those in Europe, with the exception of a much lower acceptance regarding marriage to a person with epilepsy. However, the low acceptance for marrying someone with epilepsy reveals the remaining misconceptions about the nature of epilepsy in Iran, despite the high educational level in the studied population. Therefore, informational efforts must be employed to change the perception of epilepsy.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CoAction Publishing, 2013. Vol. 6, 1-5 p.
epilepsy, attitudes, knowledge, stigma, Iran
Psychiatry Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81700DOI: 10.3402/gha.v6i0.21618OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-81700DiVA: diva2:658167