Kentuckians' Attitudes Toward Children with Epilepsy

Robert J. Baumann, John F. Wilson, H. Jean Wiese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Summary: We explored Kentuckians' attitudes toward children with epilepsy. Questions compared respondents' attitudes about children with epilepsy, asthma, hyperactivity, and AIDS. Random digit dialing led to 617 completed interviews. The key questions asked concerned (a) how a pupil with each illness would alter the classroom environment, and (b) how the condition would affect the child's quality of life (QOL) at age 21 years. Respondents used a 0–10 rating scale (0 = worst, 5 = normal, 10 = best). A dichotomous variable divided respondents into those who rated below and those who rated at or above the norm: 24% predicted a deterioration of the classroom environment with the addition of a pupil with epilepsy (similar to AIDS at 26%); 41% predicted a lessened QOL at age 21 years (a worse rating than either asthma or hyperactivity). We created summary indexes, using difference scores between epilepsy ratings and ratings for the other conditions: Relative Educational Distance (RED) and Relative Quality of Life Distance (RQLD) measures. On the RED index, rural and Appalachian respondents showed the greatest prejudice toward pupils with epilepsy. Conversely, we noted the greatest prejudice in RQLD among urban residents (the best educated group). Our data do not support contentions that prejudices against persons with epilepsy are disappearing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1008
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • Appalachia
  • Attitudes
  • Epilepsy
  • Health Surveys
  • Psycho
  • social

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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