Arranged marriages in people with epilepsy: A pilot knowledge, attitudes and practices survey from India
Received: 26 February 2016
Accepted: 09 May 2016
06 May 2018 (online)
Introduction Marriage is a socially challenging barrier in the personal lives of people with epilepsy worldwide. However, it is during arranges marriages, which are common in South Asian communities, that epilepsy is most profoundly stigmatizing. We hypothesized that the felt stigma associated with epilepsy during arranged marriages affects women more frequently and intensely.
Materials and methods A pilot study in married (n = 38) and unmarried PWE (n = 58) and general public (n = 150) to explore gender-based differences in the stigma associated with epilepsy during arranged marriages.
Results Majority unmarried PWE (87%) considered arranged marriage as the best way to realize their matrimonial plans. More unmarried women (72%) apprehended problems in adhering to their epilepsy medications regime after marriage (p 0.009) and 50% apprehended victimization in marriage on account of epilepsy (p 0.001). Moreover, 41% of the married women with epilepsy felt that the disclosure had a negative impact on their married life (p 0.047).
Conclusions South Asian WWE experienced more felt stigma than men before and after arranged marriages and this might impact a number of health related psychosocial outcomes. The lack of past experience with epilepsy was associated with a number of misplaced beliefs about and attitudes towards epilepsy.
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