Vol 45, No 2 (2011)

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Knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy among inhabitants of Silesia. A questionnaire study

Beata Łabuz-Roszak1, Krystyna Pierzchała1, Maciej Kapinos1, Agnieszka Machowska-Majchrzak1, Piotr Kopczyński1, Katarzyna Kapczyńska1, Anna Pyka1, Piotr Hatala1
DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3843(14)60020-7
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2011;45(2):107-114.

Abstract

Background and purpose

Epilepsy is one of the most frequent neurological diseases. Social acceptance is very important for people with epilepsy and their relatives. The aim of the study was to assess public knowledge and attitudes towards epilepsy in Silesia.

Material and methods

We examined 419 people, inhabitants of Silesia, at the mean age of 34 ± 15 years. The study was performed using a questionnaire containing 15 questions evaluating knowledge about epilepsy and attitudes towards people with epilepsy.

Results

43.2% of the respondents knew an epileptic person themselves. 44.7% had witnessed an epileptic seizure; 68.8% would help a person during an epileptic seizure, but most of them (73.4%) would do it incorrectly (by putting an object into the mouth to prevent biting the tongue). 94.5% of respondents had nothing against friendship with an epileptic person, but 12.1% suggested that children with epilepsy should attend special schools. 85.9% of all those examined said that people with epilepsy should inform others about their disease, 81.9% would mention the existence of an epileptic person in their family. 40.5% of respondents believe that people with epilepsy can do the same jobs as healthy people, 75.3% would employ an epileptic person themselves.

Conclusions

The knowledge about epilepsy and first aid during epileptic seizure is still insufficient among inhabitants of Silesia. Most of the responders, especially better educated ones, declare acceptance and tolerance of people with epilepsy. More effort should be made to improve public knowledge of epilepsy by preparing wide-spread educational programmes.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska