KOCHEN Sara Silvia
congresos y reuniones científicas
Culture-bound epilepsy? Patients' explanatory models (EMs) about epilepsy in Argentina
SARUDIANSKY M; KORMAN G; SCÉVOLA L; KOCHEN S; D'ALESSIO L
Congreso; Word Epilepsy Congress; 2019
Purpose: To describe explanatory models (EMs) about their illness reported bypatients with drug-resistant epilepsy, in two public hospitals in Buenos Aires(Argentina).Methods: A qualitative approach was used. In-depth interviews wereadministered to 51 patients admitted to the VEEG units of the Hospital RamosMejía and Hospital El Cruce (Argentina), in order to obtain their perspectivesabout epilepsy. A thematic analysis of the content of the interviews wascarried out, starting with an open coding of the data. The data was organizedinto topics, depending on the relationship between the codes initiallyidentified. As a preliminary data analysis, frequencies of each category wereobtained.Results: The codes were grouped into four major categories:1) Biomedical EMs (biological explanations);2) Psychological/psychosocial EMs (explanations related to emotions and to theeffects of the environment);3) Religious and traditional EMs (explanations related to deities or spirits,or to popular medicine);4) Explanations about the factors that increase the seizure frequency;Most respondents (N = 46) reported more than one explanatory model aboutepilepsy in their narratives.Conclusions: Patients´ explanatory models about epilepsy are complex:they involve biological, psychological and supernatural aspects. Biological EMswere expected to be found since these patients have been attending to hospitalsfor many years. Psychosocial EMs were also frequent, which is consistent withthe dissemination and acceptance of psychotherapy in Argentina. Religious andtraditional EMs implies that epilepsy can be interpreted both as a divinemessage, as the loss of the soul or as curses from nearby people. These beliefsare often associated with the use of unconventional treatments, such astraditional healing.Patients´ EMs, therefore, can differ from those used by their physicians andaffect the communication between them. Being aware of these aspects will enablebetter health care.