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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-65

Burden of stigma among relatives of Nigerian patients living with epilepsy

Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lateef Olutoyin Oluwole
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2394-2010.160913

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Background: Epilepsy, a chronic noncommunicable disease is recognized as a major public health concern. Stigma is an important factor that has a negative influence on people with epilepsy (PWE) and their families. The burden for people with epilepsy and their families is greatest in poor countries. Aims: The aim of this study is to elicit the lived experiences of individuals who had experienced burden of stigma while they live and care for patients with epilepsy. Settings and Design: The participants in this study are relatives who are the caregivers of patients with epilepsy who visited the mental health unit of a tertiary health center in Southwest Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Sociodemographic data of participants were collected in addition to recorded significant statements following extensive interactions held with the participants. Thematic analyses of varying experiences of participants, as recorded, were done using the phenomenological method of Colazzi. Results: Nineteen participants were engaged in the study with 12 (63.2%) of them being females and half of the females being mothers. Child and spouse of patients of epilepsy were least likely as care givers. The mean age of participants was 38.3 years and mean duration of patients' illness was 5.6 years. Four major themes including prejudice, fear, shame, and social isolation were the most recurring of the -33 significant statements recorded from the participants. Conclusions: It is pertinent to have enhanced and sustained self-efficacy with great empathy toward the patients and their family members.

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