Paula T. Fernandes, Priscila C.B. Salgado, Ana L.A. Noronha, Hanneke M. de Boer, Leonid Prilipko, Josemir W. Sander, Li M. Li
Objective: To estimate the perception of stigma attached to epilepsy in an urban society of a limited-resource country, Brazil.
Methods: We applied a validated Stigma Scale of Epilepsy (SSE) cross-sectionally to 1850 people from all regions within the metropolitan area of Campinas, following a sampling selection methodology (95% confidence interval and error of 2.3).
Results. The overall score for epilepsy stigma perception was 42 (range, 398; SD, 14). The SSE score for women was higher (43) than that for men (40). With respect to religion, Spiritism had the lowest SSE score (35) compared with Catholic, Evangelical, other, and no religion. Level of education was inversely related to SSE scores; illiterate people had higher SSE scores (45) than people with higher education (37).
Conclusion: This is one of the first systematic assessments of epilepsy stigma perception in an urban area of a limited-resource country. It was found that the magnitude of stigma is different within segments of the local society, highlighting that sociocultural factors such as gender, religion, and level of education may be important predictors of stigma.
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