Family caregivers of patients with intractable epilepsy are subject to significant stigma because of societal views about the disorder, according to cross-sectional analysis recently published in Epilepsy and Behavior.
- Self-administered surveys were taken by caregivers of adults and children with a confirmed diagnosis of intractable epilepsy.
- Affiliate stigma was defined as perceiving and internalizing negative societal views of the disorder and having a psychological response to those views.
- Caregivers’ psychological burdens were measured using the 30-item Carer’s Assessment of Difficulties Index and the stigma was evaluated with a separate 6-item scale that measured their perceptions of stigma.
- The 136 respondents were mostly white, female, and married.
- Investigators found the link between the stigma of epilepsy and the burden caregivers experienced was stronger among family members caring for adult patients.
Hansena B, Szaflarski M, Bebin EB, Szaflarski JP. Affiliate stigma and caregiver burden in intractable epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2018;85:1-6.