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Perception about Etiology of Epilepsy and Help-Seeking Behavior in Patients with EpilepsyFunding None.
Objectives Patients with epilepsy and their family have diverse beliefs about the cause of their illness that generally determine their treatment-seeking behavior. In this study, our aim was to find out different beliefs about epilepsy that lead to different help-seeking patterns, which act as barrier to the intended modern medical management of epilepsy.
Materials and Methods One hundred and fifty consecutive consenting patients accompanied by a reliable informant/family member fulfilling the International Classification of Epileptic Seizures (ICES), simplified version, were included. Demographic and clinical data of all the eligible subjects was collected. Perceived cause of illness and help-seeking pattern were explored from patient/informant by administering proper instruments.
Results Respondents identified varied causes of epilepsy and explored multiple help-seeking options before reaching tertiary care centers. We observed that, generally, epileptic patients/relatives who had belief in causes like supernatural causes sought help from nonprofessional personnel and those attributed their symptom to bodily pathology had professional help-seeking.
Conclusions The belief in supernatural causes not being conformed to the biomedical models of the epileptic disorders increases the treatment gap.
30 July 2021 (online)
© 2021. Indian Epilepsy Society. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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