ACTA CLINICA CROATICA, cilt.52, ss.59-67, 2013 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
The aim of this study was to investigate the perception of epilepsy in Turkey, from west to east, in Kutahya and Yuksekova, two cities of different sociocultural and ethnic status. This was a retrospective comparison study which evaluated the results of two prior studies investigating stigmatization of patients diagnosed with epilepsy and their first-degree relatives in two different cities of Turkey, Kutahya and Yuksekova. The Survey of Epileptic Patient Relatives on the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior Regarding the Disorder was used and included questions on descriptive characteristics, familiarity with epilepsy, attitudes toward epilepsy, and understanding of epilepsy. Data collected by use of the SPSS 15.0 software were analyzed with chi(2)-test. In Yuksekova group, 88.5% of first-degree relatives of people with epilepsy felt primarily fear when they heard the diagnosis of epilepsy in their relatives; in Kutahya group, the respective rate was 19.1% (p<0.05). The number of participants who objected their child marrying someone with epilepsy was significantly higher in Yuksekova group (p<0.05); however, if married, the Yuksekova group significantly stated that they should have a baby, revealing the importance of children as an indicator of power and dignity in the eastern region of Turkey (p<0.05). Although understanding of epilepsy was favorable, educating the community about epilepsy and personal contacts are the major strategies against epileptic stigmatization.