Perceived stigma and adherence in epilepsy: evidence for a link and mediating processes

Marie Chesaniuk, Hyunmi Choi, Paul Wicks, Gertraud Stadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: This study tested whether perceived epilepsy-related stigma is associated with adherence in people living with epilepsy and if information, motivation, and behavioral skills are potential pathways underlying the stigma-adherence link.

METHODS: We surveyed persons living with epilepsy between the ages of 18 and 65 (N = 140) using an online questionnaire to assess medication adherence and perceived epilepsy-related stigma. In addition, participants reported their level of information, motivation, and behavioral skills.

RESULTS: Higher perceived epilepsy-related stigma was associated with lower medication adherence (r = -0.18, p < .05). Higher perceived stigma was associated with lower levels of information (r = -0.28, p < .05), motivation (r = -0.55, p < .05), and behavioral skills (r = -0.41, p < .05), and the link between stigma and adherence was fully explained by information, motivation, and behavioral skills, i.e., the effect of stigma on adherence was fully mediated (c = -0.18, p < .05 reduced to c' = 0.06, p = .48).

CONCLUSION: Perceived epilepsy-related stigma is problematic for maintaining the prescribed medication regimen in people living with epilepsy. The information-motivation-behavioral skills model is a useful framework for understanding the pathways linking perceived stigma and adherence in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Adult
  • Epilepsy
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Social Stigma
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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