Psychosocial aspects of epilepsy in Nigeria: a review
Background: 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. Method: 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. Result: 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. Conclusion: Epilepsy, a stigmatizing disorder in Nigeria, has a significant impact on the day to day functioning of those with the condition.
Keywords: Epilepsy; Psychosocial; Nigeria