Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2009 - Volume 41 - Issue 4 > Epilepsy Patients' Conceptions of Epilepsy as a Phenomenon
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3181aaaa75
Article

Epilepsy Patients' Conceptions of Epilepsy as a Phenomenon

Räty, Lena K. A.; Larsson, Gerry; Starrin, Bengt; Wilde Larsson, Bodil M.

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Abstract

This study addressed epilepsy patients' conceptions of epilepsy as a phenomenon and emotions related to those conceptions. Nineteen outpatients were interviewed, and data were analyzed according to the phenomenographical methodology. Patients described epilepsy in six qualitatively different ways: Epilepsy is (a) an illness related to physical disturbances, (b) a condition related to physical disturbances, (c) a mental disturbance related to lack of mental capacity, (d) a handicap related to psychological and/or social aspects, (e) an identity related to being an epileptic, and (f) a punishment. The emotions confidence, happiness, hope, and annoyance were related to epilepsy as an illness or a condition, whereas shame, fear, sorrow, and guilt were related to the other four categories. This study indicated that, to patients, the phenomenon of epilepsy is above all a psychosocial nature and in that dimension closely related to negative emotions.

© 2009 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses

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