Navigation Links
Peer support shows promise in epilepsy fight
Date:3/11/2013

Peer support groups show promise for combating the debilitating stigma that surrounds epilepsy in much of the developing world, according to a new study led by a Michigan State University medical student.

The researchers report in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior that young people with the disease felt significantly less stigmatized after meeting regularly to discuss their illness.

While drugs are widely available to reduce epileptic seizures, the stigma and discrimination that arise from those seizures is a thornier problem, said Melissa Elafros, who is pursuing medical and doctoral degrees in MSU's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

"In Africa a lot of people think epilepsy is contagious or associated with witchcraft," she said. "If you're told something often enough, you start to believe it's true. So people with epilepsy start to internalize that stigma."

That feeling of shame leads some people to stop seeking treatment, Elafros said. Children with epilepsy often drop out of school, and some adults stop looking for work.

Peer support groups have been shown to help with other kinds of stigma, so Elafros and colleagues decided to test the groups as an intervention for epilepsy patients.

They trained local partners to facilitate monthly meetings of support groups made up of men, women and youths from 12 to 18 years old. The meetings involved guided discussion among the participants of epilepsy-related challenges they'd faced and solutions they'd found.

After a year of meetings, an evaluation of the youths showed that they felt significantly less stigmatized. There was a trend toward improvement in felt stigma among the adults, though it was not statistically significant.

"It could be that adults have just learned to cope with things as they are," Elafros said. "Or adults may need some larger intervention than that."

Still, the findings offer a much-needed glimmer of hope after decades in which several studies described the problem of epilepsy-related stigma but few systematic interventions were aimed at fixing it.

"This shows we can finally do something for people with epilepsy," she said. "The idea that you could intervene in a teenager's life and help them better cope with a condition they may have for the rest of their life, I think that's really quite significant."


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy McGlashen
andy.mcglashen@cabs.msu.edu
517-355-5158
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Supporting LGB children may influence their long-term health, BU study finds
2. International breast health global summit will focus on supportive care and quality of life
3. Americans Support Medicare Reform, But Not on Their Dime: Poll
4. Decision support system translates into high percentage of positive chest CT examinations
5. More cutting-edge cancer research supported by industry
6. Study Supports Value of Sigmoidoscopy, an Alternative to Colonoscopy
7. Behavioral support from peers, staff lowers patients blood pressure
8. Study supports urate protection against Parkinsons disease, hints at novel mechanism
9. The W3 Project Receives Support from Doulton for Emergency Relief Efforts
10. Dietary fiber alters gut bacteria, supports gastrointestinal health
11. Narconon Louisiana Supports United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many ... sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about the technology: ... develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. ... pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts ... Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology ... of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of ... and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares ... strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/7/2017)...   Provista, a proven leader in the ... purchasing power, today announced a new resource area on ... is the online home for case studies, articles ... news releases, slideshows and events. ... resources at their fingertips, viewers can also watch short ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company I.M. ... on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user about ... better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey CPR ... efficacy of the compression for a more informed CPR ... to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017 ... single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory ... Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância ... first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED ... optimal access, illumination and exposure of a tissue ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: