Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Epilepsy stigma persists in China

Measures are needed to alleviate the stigma of epilepsy
by Michael Woodhead

Epilepsy can bring severe stigma for patients in China and strong measures are needed to alleviate the stigma and change attitudes, say Beijing researchers. 
Clinicians at the Beijing Tiantan Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, did a survey of 106 patients with epilepsy as well as their caregivers, family members and clinical staff.
They found that there was still a strong stigma around epilepsy seen in peoples' understanding of epilepsy and the patients' own perception of epilepsy. There was also a noticeable stigma evident in attitudes of other people t epilepsy, in the social and cultural environment, and in the social support available to patients with epilepsy and in government regulations and policies.
"We found that the stigma of epilepsy is a very negative self-feeling from the patients' perspective, said Dr Guo Wencui and colleagues.
"Hence, we suggest that effective measures to alleviate stigma should be based on ways of eliminating factors that cause institutional stigma. Additionally, a personalized approach to eliminate factors that cause internalized and interpersonal stigma needs to be adopted. Only by addressing impacting factors at each of these three levels can the stigma of epilepsy in China be alleviated or even eliminated."
Read more: Epilepsy and Behaviour

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