April 13, 2018

Study: Correlates of Stigma in Adults with Epilepsy – A Systematic Review of Quantitative Studies

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this review was to identify quantitative correlates, predictors, and outcomes of stigma in adults with epilepsy living in Western countries.

METHODS: To identify relevant literature, four academic databases (PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, and Scopus) were systematically searched using key terms related to stigma and epilepsy.

RESULTS: Thirty-three research papers reporting findings from 25 quantitative studies of correlates of stigma in epilepsy were identified. The findings suggest that stigma can be predicted by demographic, illness-related, and psychosocial factors, although associations were found to be highly culturally specific. Outcomes of stigma in people with epilepsy were replicated more consistently across cultures, and its impact was significant. Detrimental effects included both worse physical health, including less effective management of the condition, and reduced psychological well-being, including difficulties such as depression and anxiety.

IMPLICATIONS: Educational initiatives and therapeutic interventions that aim to address stigma in people with epilepsy are recommended; however, these need to be culturally informed to ensure that they are valid and effective.

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