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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 184-190

Public knowledge awareness and attitudes toward epilepsy in Al-Kharj Governorate Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Community Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs; Community Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Kingdom of, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medical Student, College of Medicine, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Khaled K Al-Dossari
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al-Kharj
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_281_17

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Introduction: Epilepsy is one of the most stigmatizing disorders. Stigmas and negative attitudes associating epilepsy are due to poor public awareness and knowledge. This study evaluated Saudi public Knowledge, awareness, and attitude towards epilepsy. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted during the period from September 16, 2014 to January 1st 2015. A 20-item questionnaire adapted from the literature was validated and distributed to 422 adults living in Al-Kharj governorate, and 22 participants were excluded as they have never heard or read about epilepsy. Results: About 94.79% of participants have heard or read about epilepsy, 63% of them knew someone with epilepsy, and 49.75% have witnessed a seizure attack. Seventy per cent of subjects thought that epilepsy is a neurological disease and 59% believed it is a brain disease. Almost 46.5% selected possession by demons or evil spirits and 51.25% cited envy or evil eye. More than half of subjects selected the medical treatment and follow-up as the most effective treatment of epilepsy. Rather, 41% believed in the faith healing. Most of respondents (81.5%) believed that epileptic children could be successful in normal classes. The vast majority agreed with that epileptic woman can get married and have children. Moreover, 65.25% would allow their offspring to play with epileptic persons and surprisingly, 59% would let their offspring marrying a person with epilepsy. As much as 82.75% agreed to work with epileptic persons and 85.5% would easily become a close friend of them. The equal job opportunity for epileptic and normal persons should be practiced to about 53.75% of subjects. The predictors of good knowledge, limited misconception, and positive attitudes were female gender, being a relative of an epileptic person, and having high educational level. Conclusion: The public knowledge, awareness of and attitudes toward epilepsy were acceptable with regard to this study. However, the negative attitudes and misconceptions still exist.


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