A web-based survey of attitudes toward epilepsy in secondary and tertiary students in Malaysia, using the Public Attitudes Toward Epilepsy (PATE) scale.

Epilepsy Behav. 2013 Feb;26(2):158-61. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.12.001. Epub 2013 Jan 9.


Lim KS, Hills MD, Choo WY, Wong MH, Wu C, Tan CT.


Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Malaysia. Electronic address: kslimum@gmail.com.


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 19.62.07years, 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 [10]), 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.


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