Does surgery help in reducing stigma associated with drug refractory epilepsy in children?

Epilepsy Behav. 2018 Mar;80:197-201. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2018.01.010. Epub 2018 Feb 3.


Introduction: Epilepsy has several comorbidities and associated stigma. Stigma associated with epilepsy is well known and prevalent worldwide. Surgical treatment is an established treatment for drug refractory epilepsy. Following surgery in children, it is possible that the stigma may reduce, but such an effect has not been studied earlier.

Materials and methods: Analysis of prospectively collected data was performed for pediatric patients at a single tertiary center for treating epilepsy. Child stigma scale, as described by Austin et al., was used to evaluate stigma both pre- and postoperatively. Analysis was done using Paired t test.

Results: In this study, following surgery, there was significant reduction of stigma (P<0.001). This was proportional to the reduction in seizures, though there were 9 (30%) patients, who due to persistent neurodisability did not have any reduction of stigma despite having good seizure outcome.

Conclusion: Surgery in drug-resistant epilepsy helps in reducing stigma. Seizure reduction is probably not the only factor responsible for a change in stigma outcome.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Neurological rehabilitation; Social stigma; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / psychology
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy / surgery*
  • Epilepsy / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Postoperative Period
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Seizures*
  • Social Stigma*
  • Treatment Outcome