Knowledge of and familiarity with epilepsy in U.S. adults: Results from the 2017 ConsumerStyles Online Panel Survey
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Knowledge of and familiarity with epilepsy in U.S. adults: Results from the 2017 ConsumerStyles Online Panel Survey

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  • Alternative Title:
    Epilepsy Behav
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    Examining and improving knowledge and attitudes about epilepsy has been a public health priority because of stigma around the disorder. This study had three goals: (1) to update estimates describing U.S. adults' perceived knowledge about epilepsy, seizure first aid, and confidence in providing seizure first aid; (2) to examine U.S. adults' recognition of common signs and symptoms of generalized and focal seizures to inform public awareness efforts; and (3) to provide baseline estimates of exposure to an Epilepsy Foundation public awareness campaign, #ShareMySeizure, launched in November, 2016. Four sets of epilepsy questions were included on the 2017 Porter Novelli ConsumerStyles survey, an online panel survey of the U.S. adult population. We examined differences in study outcomes by sociodemographic factors and familiarity with someone with epilepsy. Small percentages of U.S. adults felt knowledgeable about epilepsy (16%), knew seizure first aid (25%), or reported having confidence in being able to help someone having a seizure with appropriate seizure first aid (20%). Fewer adults were familiar with signs of focal seizures compared to generalized seizures. About 1% of U.S. adults had heard of the #ShareMySeizure campaign. Television and family and friends emerged as the most common sources of information for those who reported hearing something about epilepsy. About 33% of U.S. adults wanted to learn more about epilepsy. Knowledge about epilepsy among the U.S. public is suboptimal, though generally on par with that of more common conditions such as heart disease, eye conditions, and ovarian cancer. U.S. adults need and want more information about epilepsy, appropriate seizure first aid training, and recognition of seizure symptoms.
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