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Stigma, a global or regional problem?

      Epilepsy stigma is a global issue, yet there are regional variation in severity and impact of stigma on people with epilepsy, and thus required different approaches to overcome stigma in different regions. This lecture will discuss firstly the definition of epilepsy stigma and the measures used to measure various types of stigma in epilepsy. Secondly, the study designs will be discussed to demonstrate the challenges in comparing the degree of stigma among studies. A standardized measure used to compare the stigma across various countries showed that stigma is more profound in Asian region and less developed countries. The impact of stigma on certain domains of life, including employment, education, marriage, and driving, are not universally similar. Certain aspects of life among people with epilepsy are more affected by stigma in different regions, even within the same population. Factors underpinning epilepsy stigma are also regionally varied, depending on cultural, social, economic and political influences. In summary, it is important to understand epilepsy stigma as a global challenge, and yet a regional problem. This lecture will thus discuss the direction of stigma research and strategy to overcome stigma, from global and also regional perspectives.
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