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Epilepsy Behav. 2016 May;58:115-8. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.02.042. Epub 2016 Apr 9.

Knowledge of, perceptions of, attitudes and practices regarding epilepsy among medical students in Turkey.

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Department of Child Neurology, Selçuk University, Faculty of Medicine, Konya, Turkey. Electronic address:



Medical practitioners' attitudes have a significant impact on the quality of care for patients with epilepsy. This study was conducted to assess the current level of knowledge about epilepsy and treatment together with attitudes and perception toward patients with epilepsy among medical students in Turkey.


The study was conducted using a structured questionnaire to assess knowledge, awareness, and practices about epilepsy among medical students at Selçuk University, Konya, Turkey.


Eight hundred and ninety subjects were interviewed, and 73.5% reported their awareness about epilepsy. Of these, 38.1% knew someone who had epilepsy, and 38.5% had witnessed an epileptic seizure. Although most of the students had heard about epilepsy, 38.4% of the students believed that epilepsy was primarily a genetic disease. About one-fifth of the students attributed the causes of epilepsy to vitamin deficiency (8.8%) and psychiatric (19.1%), infectious (19.5%), mental (4.4%), and hematological disorders (3.4%). According to 4.8% of the students, epilepsy could be a punishment from God, and 2.1% of students thought that it could be caused by an evil spirit. Eighty-eight percent considered epilepsy as a dangerous disease, and most of them thought that epilepsy is a lifelong condition. Fifty point six percent indicated that putting an object into the patient's mouth to prevent tongue-biting during a seizure is appropriate while 91.9% stated that drug therapy was the only treatment available for epilepsy. The most common negative attitudes toward people with epilepsy were students' objection to marrying someone with epilepsy and patients with epilepsy having children.


Misconceptions about the causes, treatment, and nature of epilepsy are common among medical students at a Turkish medical school. Negative attitudes toward patients with epilepsy still exist. Medical school training programs should be designed to increase awareness of students about epilepsy.


Attitude; Epilepsy; Knowledge; Medical students; Turkey

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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