Epilepsy-associated stigma in Zambia: What factors predict greater felt stigma in a highly stigmatized population? Epilepsy & behavior 19: 4148

Author(s): MasharipAtadzhanov AH, Elwyn N. chomba, Edward K. Mbewe, Gretchen LanoBirbeck


Epilepsy-associated stigma in Africa has been described largely in terms of enacted stigma or discrimination. We conducted a study of 169 adults with epilepsy attending epilepsy clinics in Zambia's Lusaka or Southern province using a three-item instrument (maximum score = 3). Potential determinants of felt stigma including age, gender, education, wealth, disclosure status (meaning whether or how their community members knew of their condition), seizure type (generalized vs partial), seizure frequency, the presence of visible epilepsy-associated stigmata, personal contagion beliefs, and community contagion beliefs. The median stigma score was 2.5, suggesting some ceiling effect in the instrument. People with epilepsy who believed their condition to be contagious, who thought their community believed epilepsy to be contagious, and whose condition had been revealed to their community against their wishes reported more felt stigma. Community and clinic-based educational campaigns to dispel contagion beliefs are needed.

Similar Articles

Disease characteristics and psychological factors: Explaining the expression of quality of life in childhood epilepsy

Author(s): Gabriel M. Ronen DLS, Leonard H. Verhey, LucynaLach, Michael H. Boyle, Charles E. Cunningham m, et al.

Psychosocial issues for children with epilepsy

Author(s): Rodenburg R, Wagner JL, Austin JK, Kerr M, Dunn DW

Psychosocial factors associated with stigma in adults with epilepsy

Author(s): Smith G, Ferguson PL, Saunders LL, Wagner JL, Wannamaker BB, et al.

Factors contributing to the stigma of epilepsy

Author(s): Lee SA, Yoo HJ, Lee BI; Korean QoL in Epilepsy Study Group