Document Type

Original Article


Epilepsy affects over 1% of population worldwide. Studies have shown that although our understanding about epilepsy has come a long way, misconceptions about its etiology and treatment exist in rural slums. However, no study has been conducted to see whether such misconceptions exist in middle and upper socio-economic class. This study aims to explore the existence of misconceptions and social stigma in the middle and upper socio-economic class. Materials and Methods: We conducted a survey-based study about epilepsy on 227 participants, belonging to middle and upper socio-economic class. Results: The symptoms of generalized tonic-clonic seizures were correctly described by participants. However, magic, superstition and ‘jin’ were considered as the etiology by some. Incorrect treatment options, like shoe sniffing and ‘taweez’ etc., were also mentioned. Social stigmas regarding sharing information about epilepsy and marrying epileptics also existed. Discussion: Our study shows that although the general understanding about epilepsy was correct in majority of participants belonging to the middle upper socio-economic class, it was restricted to generalized tonic clonic seizures. Key misconceptions regarding the etiology and treatment of epilepsy and social stigma associated with it did exist. These findings emphasize the need to educate all segments of the society about epilepsy

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