Perception of stigma in people with epilepsy and their relatives in Butajira, Ethiopia


  • Teshome Shibre
  • Atalay Alem
  • Redda Tekle-Haimanot
  • Girmay Medhin
  • Lars Jacobsson


Abstract Background: The occurrence of psychosocial problems related to epilepsy is well recognized and in certain situations could even be more troublesome than the effect of the seizure disorders themselves. Objective: This study was conducted to assess the magnitude of stigma experienced by patients and relatives of people with epilepsy in a rural Ethiopian community, and to identify socio-demographic and other factors that may be associated with stigma in this setting. Method: Hospital based cross-sectional survey. Result: The prevalence estimate of perceived stigma was found to be 81%. Students with epilepsy reported experiencing significantly greater levels of stigma at school (X2=39.065, p=0.000) compared with people living and working in other settings. Those who had seizure at least once a month reported being stigmatized more often compared to those who had less frequent seizure attacks (X2=12.76, p=0.002). Conclusion: Stigma was found to be a common problem among patients suffering from epilepsy, and their relatives. The results reinforce the need for creating awareness among patients, relatives and the community at large about epilepsy and addressing misconceptions attached to it. [Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2006;20(3):170-176]




How to Cite

Shibre, T., Alem, A., Tekle-Haimanot, R., Medhin, G., & Jacobsson, L. (2016). Perception of stigma in people with epilepsy and their relatives in Butajira, Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 20(3). Retrieved from

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