Factors associated with stigma and depressive symptoms in family members of patients with epilepsy

Sang Ahm Lee, Su Hyun Han, Yang Je Cho, Keun Tae Kim, Ji Eun Kim, Dong Jin Shin, Jong Geun Seo, Young Soo Kim, Han Uk Ryu, Seo Young Lee, Jung Bin Kim, Kyung Wook Kang, Shinhye Kim, Soonhak Kwon, Joonsik Kim, Sunjun Kim, Hyo Jeong Kim, So Hee Eun, Yun Jung Hur, Sun Ah ChoiMi Sun Yum, Soyoung Park, Jee Hyun Kim, Gha Hyun Lee, Young Mi Kim, Kyoung Jin Hwang, Eun Young Kim, Gyu Min Yeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Literature regarding family stigma related to epilepsy is scarce. This study investigated the prevalence of family stigma and depressive symptoms and the associated factors among the family members of patients with epilepsy. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, Stigma Scale–Revised score ≥ 4 and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥ 10 were considered indicative of moderate-to-severe stigma and depressive symptoms, respectively. Stepwise logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: Of the 482 family members, a mean age was 47.1 ± 9.4 years, and 73.4% were female. Of the patients, a mean age was 25.5 ± 16.7 years, and 45.0% were female. Idiopathic generalized epilepsy and focal epilepsy were noted in 22.4% and 65.6% of patients, respectively. Family stigma and depressive symptoms were noted in 10.0% and 11.2% of family members, respectively. Family stigma was significantly associated with high seizure frequency and being a sibling or offspring of a patient independent of their depressive symptoms. By contrast, depressive symptoms in family members were significantly associated with polytherapy, being parents of a patient, and neurological comorbidities independent of family stigma. In a subset of patients and their family, patients had higher proportion of stigma and depressive symptoms than their family. Depressive symptoms and stigma among patients were significantly correlated with those among parents, but not spouse. Conclusion: Family stigma is common in families with epilepsy and is closely related to depressive symptoms. Frequent seizures, polytherapy, neurological comorbidities, and the relationship to a patient may be factors that are independently associated with family stigma and depressive symptoms in family members.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107129
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Antiepileptic drug
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Family
  • Polytherapy
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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