BACKGROUND: Students' attitudes toward epilepsy have been studied in several countries, but none of the studies used a quantitative scale. We aimed to determine the validity and reliability of the Public Attitudes Toward Epilepsy (PATE) scale in a homogenous population consisting of secondary and tertiary students in Malaysia and to quantify their attitudes toward epilepsy, using a web-based survey.
RESULTS: A total of 227 respondents with a mean age of 19.6±2.07years, predominantly Chinese (85%), female (62%), and in a pre-university education level (71%) completed the web-based survey. Psychometric testing showed that the PATE is a valid and reliable scale to be applied in a homogenous population. The mean score in the personal domain was significantly higher than that in the general domain (2.73±0.61 vs. 2.12±0.60, respectively, p<0.001). Compared with a study previously performed on a general population (Lim et al., 2012 ), the mean score in the general domain was significantly lower (p<0.01), whereas there was no significant difference between the mean scores in the personal domain. The mean scores in the general domain were significantly lower for those with tertiary education (p<0.001) but did not correlate with gender and ethnicity.
CONCLUSION: The attitudes of secondary and tertiary students are more positive than those of the general population in the general domain but not in the personal domain.