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Epilepsy Behav. 2006 Feb;8(1):176-80. Epub 2005 Nov 14.

Survey of public awareness, attitudes, and understanding toward epilepsy in Nhan Chinh, Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2003.

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Department of Neurology, Hanoi University of Medicine, Ton That Tung Street, Dong Da, Hanoi, Viet Nam.



Many studies have shown that cultural and social awareness of, attitudes toward, and knowledge about epilepsy can have an impact on the acceptance of treatment. The aim of this study is to characterize public awareness of attitudes toward and understanding of epilepsy in a Vietnamese community and to compare results with those obtained in other cultures.


A survey concerning the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Vietnamese people with respect to epilepsy was carried out in the Nhan Chinh precinct of Hanoi. One thousand people were randomly selected for face-to-face interviews regarding epilepsy.


Of the subjects surveyed, 54.6% had heard of epilepsy; 45.5% knew someone with epilepsy; 49.2% had witnessed an epileptic seizure; 56% would not allow their son or daughter to marry someone with epilepsy; 42.1% did not believe that epileptic patients could hold down a normal job; 77.8% believed that epilepsy is an organic disorder of the brain; 23.8% thought that epilepsy is a form of dementia; and 91% thought that epileptic patients require medical care.


As compared with surveys conducted in other countries, our survey showed that the awareness of epilepsy in this Vietnamese community is limited, and gives rise to alternative attitudes and practices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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