Abstract published in Epilepsy & Behavior
Objective: This study was conducted to assess the degree of agreement of Palestinian nursing students with recommendations and key messages to eliminate/reduce epilepsy stigma and change perception of the general public about epilepsy and people with epilepsy (PWE).
Methods: An observational study was conducted among undergraduate nursing students. The study tool was a questionnaire with 24 items which collected the sociodemographic and academic characteristics of the participants (6 items) and agreements with 18 recommendations and key messages to eliminate/reduce epilepsy stigma.
Results: A total of 342 nursing students completed the questionnaire with a response rate of 68.4%. The participants agreed with the 6 recommendations to inform media, improve awareness, and educate the general public on epilepsy (agreement rates: 87.7% to 92.4%), 4 recommendations to coordinate efforts to improve awareness and educate the general public on epilepsy and PWE (agreement rates: 89.8% to 93.0%), and 8 key messages to eliminate/reduce epilepsy stigma (agreement rates: 70.2% to 93.9%). In general, female students tended to express significantly higher levels of agreement with the recommendations and key messages.
Conclusion: Results of the present study highlighted the importance of involving nurses and future nurses in eliminating/reducing epilepsy stigma and changing perception of the general public about epilepsy and PWE. Further studies are to be conducted to investigate if these recommendations and messages can eliminate or significantly reduce epilepsy stigma and change perception of the general public about epilepsy and PWE.