Purpose: To estimate the knowledge of and attitudes toward epilepsy in schoolchildren and university students in Rome. Methods: We administered a custom-designed questionnaire in Italian on general knowledge, specific knowledge and social impact of epilepsy to a random sample of upper-middle class pupils and university undergraduate students in Rome. Results: The young people we studied have a reasonable knowledge of epilepsy: as many as 91% claimed to know something about the disease. Yet only 16% correctly stated the prevalence as being about 1 in 100. Middle-school pupils and university graduates consider epilepsy as an illness from which patients rarely recover and one that creates problems in finding employment. The largest number of correct answers for nearly all the questionnaire items came from university students. Conclusions: These findings suggest that apart from an encouragingly large number of the subjects we studied claim to know something about epilepsy (91% today versus 73% 22 years ago), Italian students still know little about epilepsy. These preliminary data should provide a starting point for a future in-depth population-based survey and information campaigns at schools in the Rome metropolitan area.
- Public attitudes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health