PURPOSE: Epilepsy not only is a medical disorder characterized by seizures, but is also associated with stigma and a neurological disorder that affects quality of life. Insufficient knowledge and misconceptions about epilepsy that cause the development of negative attitudes towards patients with epilepsy increase the stigmatization and psychosocial problems and impact the quality of life. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between epilepsy knowledge, attitude, stigma, anxiety and depression, and quality of life within the framework of structural equation modeling.
METHOD: This research was carried out between May 2015 and May 2016 at the Epilepsy Outpatient Clinic of Istanbul University Istanbul Faculty of Medicine. The Epilepsy Knowledge Scale, Epilepsy Attitude Scale, Stigma Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Quality of Life in Epilepsy Scale-10 (QOLIE-10) were used. To determine the relationship between the concepts, research hypotheses were created and structural equation modeling was made.
RESULTS: Two hundred five patients were included in the study; 53.7% were women, and the mean age was 32.5. It was found that 72.2% had generalized seizures and 46.3% had more than one seizure per month. According to our proposed model, knowledge had a moderate relationship with attitude (including stigma) (r?=?0.50) that, in turn, had a strong relationship with mental health (r?=?-0.62) while a moderate relationship with quality of life (r?=?0.45). Our findings revealed that proposed model accounted for 20% of the variance in quality of life and 39% of the variance in mental health (anxiety and depression).
CONCLUSION: Mental health and quality of life of patients with epilepsy are closely related to the knowledge, attitude, and perceived stigma of the patients. Therefore, educating/supporting patients can help increase the mental health and quality of life.