Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 499-503

Public knowledge and attitudes toward epilepsy in Majmaah

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah, KSA
2 Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah, KSA
3 Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah, KSA
4 Department of Neurosciences, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, KSA

Correspondence Address:
Aqeel Munahi Almutairi
College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-3147.188622

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Objectives: Epilepsy is very common in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, occurring in 6.54 out of every 1000 individuals. The current study was conducted to determine the level of public awareness of and attitudes toward epilepsy in the city of Majmaah, Saudi Arabia. Subjects and Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in Majmaah, Saudi Arabia. The study population included respondents derived from preselected public places in the city. Stratified random sampling was used, and the sample size was made up of 706 individuals. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection from respondents after receiving their verbal consent. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 2.0. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee of Majmaah University. Results: The results showed that 575 (81.4%) of the respondents had heard or read about epilepsy. Almost 50% of the respondents knew someone who had epilepsy, and 393 (55.7%) had witnessed what they believed to be a seizure. Results showed that 555 (78.6%) respondents believed that epilepsy was neither a contagious disease nor a type of insanity. It was found that 335 (47.5%) stated that epilepsy was a brain disease, and almost one-quarter of the respondents said that the manifestation of an epileptic episode is a convulsion. Regarding attitude, 49% and 47.3% of respondents stated that they would not allow their children to interact with individuals with epilepsy and would object to marrying an individual with epilepsy, respectively. Conclusion: Although knowledge about epilepsy is improving, it is still not adequate. The study showed that the attitude toward epilepsy is poor.

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