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Epilepsy Res. 2009 Dec;87(2-3):107-19. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2009.08.014. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Stigma and health-related quality of life in Asian adults with epilepsy.

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Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


This study aims to (1) review the impact of epilepsy on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of Asian adult persons with epilepsy (PWE), and (2) identify the extent of stigma they experience and the associated factors. The electronic databases Medline, PsycINFO, ISI Web of Science, and the International Pharmaceutical Abstracts were searched using a combination of keywords to identify relevant journal articles published before October 2007, and supplemental manual searches of article bibliographies and the journal Neurology Asia were conducted. Thirty-six articles that met the predetermined inclusion criteria were selected and reviewed. The HRQoL of Asian adult PWE was lower than that of the general population. These PWE had difficulties in both physical and psychosocial functioning. Psychosocial factors appeared to have a more significant impact on PWE's HRQoL than physical factors. Stigma and negative attitudes towards marriage and employment of PWE was prevalent in many Asian countries, and the stigma's associated factors were multifaceted. Given the prevalent negative attitudes towards epilepsy, public education campaigns targeting misconceptions and associated factors may help reduce stigma and, together with psychosocial support, the HRQoL of Asian adult PWE can be improved.

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