n African Journal of Psychiatry - Psychosocial aspects of epilepsy in Nigeria : a review : review article




Epilepsy is a chronic disorder marked by intermittent, often unpredictable seizures which may be embarrassing and disruptive to the normal activity of daily living. This review was undertaken to provide information / data on the prevalence, seizure types, treatment issues and psychosocial impact of epilepsy in Nigeria. We searched the PUBMED database with emphasis on studies conducted in Nigeria using a combination of the following words: epilepsy, seizure, convulsion, prevalence, epidemiology, psychiatric morbidity, social issues, quality of life, cognition, school performance, treatment issues and Nigeria. 48 relevant studies that met the criteria were reviewed. The point prevalence of epilepsy varies from 5.3 to 37 per 1000 in Nigeria. Most studies showed a predominance of generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Nigerian patients with epilepsy suffer social deprivation and discrimination in education, employment, housing, marital life as well as associated psychiatric morbidity. Epilepsy, a stigmatizing disorder in Nigeria, has a significant impact on the day to day functioning of those with the condition.


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