|Scooped by Kheng Seang Lim|
Surveys about attitudes towards those with epilepsy have been performed since 1949, in order to understand the social stigma toward epilepsy. This review aims to demonstrate the variation in public attitudes towards epilepsy and its associated factors, with a critical review of the methodology used to examine attitudes towards epilepsy. There was marked variation of attitudes between Western and non-Western populations, and these attitudes were positively correlated with the standard of living. Besides the general public, studies were also performed within specific groups, particularly teachers and students. However absence of a standardized questionnaire makes direct comparison difficult. A few quantitative methods were developed but these were limited by cultural variations and thus lack of global acceptance. Short-term intervention studies demonstrate an improvement of attitude with knowledge. Nonetheless, the cultural and social reasons underlying the attitudes, and how this affects the life of people with epilepsy, are understudied. Therefore, surveys on attitudes should continue to be carried out, particularly in populations prone to have negative attitudes with emphasis on underlying reasons, and such progress should be monitored longitudinally. Attitudes of people such as parents, teachers, school counselors, health care professionals, and employers, which have a direct impact on people with epilepsy, should be more extensively studied.