Document Type: Special Articles

Authors

1 Department of Neurology, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran ; Iranian Center for Neurological Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 1Department of Neurology, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Iranian Center for Neurological Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 2Iranian Center for Neurological Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran Department of Neurology, Loghman Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background: Epileptic seizures would result in embarrassment in society and have some negative impact on the patients' social activities. The aim of this study was to show the perceived impact of epilepsy by patients on different aspect of their social activities including occupation, marriage and education.Methods: We studied 179 epileptic patients aged 16 years and over using face to face interview. Nine domains including relation to spouses, relation to family members, social life, general health, interpersonal communications and friendships, feelings about success, hope for future, ordinary life and cope with others were considered.Results: One hundred and seven men and 72 women were studied. Nearly 78% of the patients had generalized tonic-clonic seizures. More than half of the patients believed that epilepsy had affected their social life and activities. General health was negatively affected by this disease more than any other item. This may be due to uncontrolled attacks or taking medications. About 15.5% of married and 39% of the single patients considered epilepsy as an obstacle to marry with their ideal spouses and more than half of the employed persons considered epilepsy as an obstacle for their job promotions.Conclusion: Epilepsy frequently impacts on several aspects of life. The disease negatively affects social life and activities, overall health, feelings about self, ability to work in paid employments, relationship with spouses, friends, and other family members, future plans, standards of living and ambitions of epileptic patients. Decreasing such impacts should be considered as an important part of treatment and proper management can certainly increase various aspects of life in these patients.