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Epilepsy Behav. 2020 Mar;104(Pt A):106908. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.106908. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Risk and protective factors related to stigma among people with epilepsy: An integrative review.

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Severance Children's Hospital, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Mo-Im Kim Nursing Research Institute, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:
College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Stigma is a critical issue among people with epilepsy (PWE). There is a need to undertake an integrative review of the factors associated with stigma, as it is experienced subjectively, and cannot be fully understood through quantitative research alone. The aims of this study were to explore the factors influencing epilepsy-associated stigma and to extend our understanding of stigma using an integrative review approach.


Three databases (i.e., CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO) were searched for articles published from January 2010 through December 2018 on stigma among PWE. Selected articles were assessed for quality using the mixed-method appraisal tool. The matrix method was used for data extraction and analysis. Overall, the process of the review was guided by Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist.


Overall, 26 studies were included in this review: four qualitative studies, twenty-one quantitative studies, and one mixed-method study. Several factors associated with stigma were found, divided into four categories across two main aspects: individual (i.e., disease and social characteristics) and community (i.e., overall impression/beliefs regarding epilepsy and social networks) based on the Framework Integrating Normative Influences on Stigma.


The impression of and beliefs about epilepsy among the general population as well as among PWE were the primary factors affecting stigma. Thus, there is a need for the provision of accurate information about epilepsy to both these groups. Additional studies on epilepsy-associated stigma employing various methodological approaches are required.


Community; Epilepsy; Individual; Stigma

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest We declare there is no conflict of interest.

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