Self-perception of stigma in persons with epilepsy in Tehran, Iran

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Epilepsy is one of the most stigmatizing medical conditions worldwide. It could be argued that the problem of stigma and discrimination might be different in an Islamic culture. A cross-sectional study of 130 patients with epilepsy was performed using the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI) questionnaire that was adapted for epilepsy. The questionnaire contained 29 items on a 4-point scale in addition to an open-ended question about experience of discrimination. An average score above the midpoint (2.5) is suggested to indicate a high level of stigma. Approximately 23.7% of the patients reported a score above the midpoint. Unemployment and low education were significantly associated with a high level of internalized stigma. Although epilepsy can be effectively treated, patients in Tehran still experience much stigma. For this reason, strategies for reducing self-perception of stigma should be included in a treatment plan. © 2013 The Authors.




Ghanean, H., Jacobsson, L., & Nojomy, M. (2013). Self-perception of stigma in persons with epilepsy in Tehran, Iran. Epilepsy and Behavior, 28(2), 163–167.

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