Document Detail

Belief systems of epilepsy and attitudes toward people living with epilepsy in a rural community of northern Tanzania.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20965788     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The social stigma toward people with epilepsy (PWE) varies greatly between cultures. In this study, 167 people (59 PWE, 62 relatives, 46 villagers) in a rural area of northern Tanzania were interviewed at the hospital and in the community regarding their prevailing beliefs about epilepsy and attitudes toward PWE. Seventy-eight of those interviewed (46.7%) thought that epilepsy was due to supernatural causes, but 86 (51.5%) assumed that epilepsy is caused by brain disorders or is inherited. According to the interviewees, epilepsy impacts on the lives of affected people. 65.3% (n=109) thought that PWE should not attend school or go to work and 38.3% (n=64) were of the opinion that PWE had decreased chances of getting married. A minority (11.4%; n=19) thought that epilepsy was a reason not to have children. In summary, supernatural and more scientific ideas about the causes of epilepsy seem to coexist. Nevertheless, there is considerable stigma toward PWE, which needs to be interpreted within the sociocultural context of the study.
Andrea Sylvia Winkler; Michael Mayer; Silke Schnaitmann; Michael Ombay; Bartholomayo Mathias; Erich Schmutzhard; Louise Jilek-Aall
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-10-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  Epilepsy & behavior : E&B     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1525-5069     ISO Abbreviation:  Epilepsy Behav     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100892858     Medline TA:  Epilepsy Behav     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  596-601     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Interdisciplinary Centre for Palliative Medicine and Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany; Haydom Lutheran Hospital, Manyara Region, Tanzania.
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