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Epilepsy Behav. 2004 Dec;5(6):999-1004.

Attitudes of Brazilian psychiatrists toward people with epilepsy.

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Institute and Department of Psychiatry, Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil.


The purpose of this survey was to evaluate the experience of Brazilian psychiatrists in treatment, formal training, attitudes, and knowledge with respect to epilepsy (and associated mental disorders). One hundred fifty-seven Brazilian psychiatrists completed a specially developed questionnaire. Most (95%) had previously treated patients with epilepsy and mental disorders. About one-third (35%) admitted a lack of any formal training in epilepsy, and only 46% confirmed having received some formal training in mental disorders related to epilepsy. Eighty percent were dissatisfied with their knowledge. Three knowledge-based questions were answered correctly by only 10%. Almost half (48%) admitted that among psychiatrists, prejudice exists toward patients with epilepsy. Difficulties with treatment (50%) and lack of knowledge of epilepsy (50%) were considered the main causes of such prejudice. These data indicate an urgent need for improvement in education on epilepsy and associated mental disorders, as well as inclusion of formal epilepsy training in psychiatry residency programs.

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