June 8, 2021

Effects of Perceived Stigma, Unemployment and Depression on Suicidal Risk in People With Epilepsy

Abstract, originally published in Seizure

Purpose: Stigma toward people with epilepsy (PWE) is common around the globe. Perceived stigma produced by mental or physical disorders may represent a significant risk factor for suicide. This study examines whether and how perceived stigma, unemployment and depression interact to influence suicidal risk in PWE.

Methods: A consecutive cohort of people with epilepsy (PWE) was recruited from the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. Each patient completed the Stigma Scale for Epilepsy (SSE), the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory for Epilepsy scale (NDDI-E) and the suicidality module of Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview(MINI) v.5.0.0. Spearman’s correlation and moderated mediation analysis were used to examine the associations among perceived stigma, depression, unemployment and suicidal risk.

Results: Perceived stigma was positively associated with depression severity and suicidal risk. Depression severity mediated the association between perceived stigma and suicidal risk. The indirect effect of perceived stigma on suicidal risk through depression severity was positively moderated by unemployment.

Conclusions: The effect of perceived stigma on suicidal risk can be explained by the mediation of depression severity, At the same time, getting out from the shadow of perceived stigma may help reducing suicidal risk in PWE. In addition, improving employment status of PWE may attenuate the indirect effect of perceived stigma on suicidal risk through depression severity.

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