The stigma of epilepsy and its effects on marital status.
BACKGROUND: No previous studies have examined marital status of patients with epilepsy and epilepsy-related factors on perceived and enacted stigmas in Iran. In the present study, marital status of patients with epilepsy (PWE's) in Birjand city in the east of Iran was investigated.
METHODS: A multicenter cross-sectional study was conducted to identify factors contributing to the marital status of PWE's in a cross-sectional study with 471 participants. Diagnosis of epilepsy in participants (374 cases) was confirmed by at least two neurologists.
RESULTS: Marriage rate of PWE's was 27.3% (n = 102 patients) and divorce rate was 54.8% (n = 205 patients). Divorce rate in women was significantly higher than in men (62.6% vs. 46.4%; P < 0.05), and there were no significant differences between the different types of epilepsy (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The stigma of epilepsy has impacts on marital status of PWE's. The PWE's suffering from the enacted stigma of epilepsy are significantly more likely to get divorced in comparison with other patients.