June 8, 2022

Stigma in Functional Seizures: A Scoping Review

Abstract found in PubMed

Objective: The purpose of this scoping review was to explore the extent, range and nature of knowledge on stigma in functional seizures (FS).

Methods: This scoping review was conducted in accordance with the Joanna Briggs Institute Manual for Evidence Synthesis (JBIMES) guidelines and the five-step framework by Arksey and O’Malley. We searched for data sources written in English using MEDLINE, Scopus, EBSCOhost, Ovid, PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, Wiley Online Library, Microsoft Academic, Google Scholar, as well as grey literature sources, with no date limitations up to September 2021. The extracted data were analysed using basic frequency counts and thematic synthesis.

Results: The systematic search yielded a set of 988 potentially relevant data sources, of which 70 met the inclusion criteria. The retrieved sources reflected data from 85 countries and 5949 study participants. The thematic synthesis highlighted the prevalence of FS stigma, as well as its potential origins, context and impact on patients and families. The majority of studies were conducted in healthcare settings with healthcare providers, with fewer data sources reporting on family, patient, and broader society perspectives relating to FS stigma.

Conclusion: Our scoping review suggests that FS stigma is prevalent but remains understudied. We need more research with a specific focus on stigma in FS, and factors that contribute to FS stigma (e.g. culture and context, naming of the condition), as well as accessible interventions and guidelines addressing FS stigma through education and training. Supportive attitudes and knowledge appear to be protective factors against FS stigma.