J Korean Epilepsy Soc.  2001 Dec;5(2):172-176.

The Relationship of Stigma and Quality of Life in Patients with Epilepsy

Affiliations
  • 1Epilepsy Progrom, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sbhong@smc.samsung.co.kr
  • 2Neuroscience Center, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Education, College of Education, Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stigma may affect the interpersonal relationship and coping ability of epilepsy patients. This study was aimed to evaluate the degree of stigma and the relationship between the clinical factors, quality of life (QOL) and the stigma in epilepsy patients.
METHODS
One hundred and sixty-three patients with epilepsy were included. The research instruments were questionnaires for collecting demographic and disease-specific data, the stigma and quality of life. The modified Kim Eun Ja's stigma scale (1997) was used. It consists of two domains (enacted stigma, felt stigma) and has 10 items. The quality of life was evaluated by QOLIE-31. To test the correlation between the clinical factors, QOL and the stigma, Pearson correlation coefficient and ANCOVA were used.
RESULTS
51.5% of all patients had stigma. There was a significant negative correlation (r=-0.585, p<0.01) between the total score of stigma and the QOL. Two domains of stigma were also negatively correlated with QOL as follows : felt stigma vs. QOL (r=-0.429, p<0.01) and enacted stigma vs. QOL (r=-0.542, p<0.01). The patients with higher seizure frequency had lower QOL (F=4.834, p=0.03). The clinical factors that could predict the degree of stigma were the seizure frequency (F=7.86, p=0.006), duration of seizure disorder (F=7.34, p=0.008), seizure pattern (F=4.48, p=0.036) and the number of AED (F=2.51, p=0.045).
CONCLUSIONS
The felt stigma and the enacted stigma affected the QOL of epilepsy patients. These results suggest that psychosocial interventions are necessary to treat the negative reaction and depressed self-esteems of epilepsy patients in order to improve their QOL.

Keyword

Stigma; Quality of life; Psychosocial intervention; Epilepsy
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