Research offers new insight into epilepsy-related stigma

Posted Aug 29 2014 in Epilepsy in children

A boy being excluded by three others. Ref: news.sciencemag.org

Children with epilepsy initially perceive stigma associated with the condition at the time of their diagnosis, but this perceived stigma generally decreases over time.

This is the conclusion of a new study led by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which aimed to assess perceptions of stigma among children newly diagnosed with epilepsy and their caregivers over a two-year period.

After speaking to 39 children and 97 carers, it was observed that both groups reported decreasing epilepsy-related stigma from diagnosis to two years post-diagnosis, with those with and without seizures reporting comparable levels of stigmatisation.

Children and caregivers were also shown to have poor agreement on matters of dealing with stigma, suggesting this is a possible area for improvement.

The researchers concluded: “Having a better understanding of the course of epilepsy-related stigma provides clinicians with information regarding critical times to support families with stigma reduction interventions.”

Almost one in 100 people in the UK is affected by epilepsy. It usually begins during childhood, although it can start at any age.

Posted by Bob Jones

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