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Epilepsy Behav. 2008 May;12(4):547-56. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2007.11.008. Epub 2008 Jan 2.

Patient, caregiver, and health care practitioner knowledge of, beliefs about, and attitudes toward epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The medical literature related to knowledge of, beliefs about, and attitudes toward epilepsy was reviewed from the perspective of patients, caregivers, and health care providers. The literature points to a desire for enhanced epilepsy education by patients and caregivers; however, these needs have not been met by primary or specialty care. Surveys of general practitioners (GPs) point to limitations in knowledge and negative attitudes. GPs view their role in epilepsy care as primarily educational and tend to acknowledge their limitations by referring difficult cases. Ongoing education for GPs is important, as is an improved partnership in defining roles for care and education. Health care professionals specialized in epilepsy care acknowledge their own set of barriers to optimal care. Epilepsy education programs have been able to improve knowledge; however, long-term improvements in behavioral outcomes or quality of life are less documented. Suggestions for improvements are provided.

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