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Knowledge gaps and uncertainties about epilepsy: findings from an ethnographic study in China

Snape, D; Wang, W; Wu, J; Jacoby, A and Baker, G A (2009) Knowledge gaps and uncertainties about epilepsy: findings from an ethnographic study in China. Epilepsy & Behavior, 14 (1). pp. 172-178. ISSN 1525-5050

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Epilepsy represents one of the major brain disorders worldwide. In China, research into how much people with epilepsy know about their condition appears limited. Drawing on data collected as part of a large ethnographic study, we present the experiences and views of Chinese people with epilepsy and their family members, to identify knowledge gaps and uncertainties about epilepsy within selected urban and rural communities. We also examine how respondents’ demographic characteristics influence their knowledge, understanding and beliefs about epilepsy. We found knowledge and understanding of epilepsy to be uneven and context-specific. Hereditary factors were most frequently cited as a potential cause, although their impact remained unclear. Western medicalisation of epilepsy appears less evident in the reports of rural informants, where traditional beliefs continue to shape definitions and treatment. Societal differences within these communities set boundaries on knowledge acquisition. Plotted against these differences, we suggest strategies for proposed educational/psycho-social intervention programmes.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Available online 14 November 2008. Issue: January 2009.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Epilepsy Knowledge; Educational Intervention; Psychosocial; China; Global Campaign Against Epilepsy; Qualitative Research
Subjects:R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Population, Community & Behavioural Sciences
ID Code:1130
Deposited On:13 Mar 2009 09:47
Last Modified:19 May 2011 18:38

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