Developing a measure to assess attitudes toward epilepsy in the US population

Colleen A. DiIorio, Rosemarie Kobau, E. Wayne Holden, Judith M. Berkowitz, Stephanie L. Kamin, Richard F. Antonak, Joan K. Austin, Gus A. Baker, Laurie J. Bauman, Frank Gilliam, David J. Thurman, Patricia H. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to develop an instrument to measure the US public's attitudes toward people with epilepsy and to assess the initial reliability and validity of the instrument. A 46-item attitudinal instrument was developed and tested using a proportional, stratified, national, random-digit dial household telephone survey of adults aged ≥ 18 (n = 758). Exploratory factor analyses revealed four underlying constructs that accounted for 34.4% of the variance in the factor analysis: Negative stereotypes (α = 0.73); risk and safety concerns (α = 0.85); work and role expectations (α = 0.76); and personal fear and social avoidance (α = 0.79). Knowledge was also assessed; participants with less knowledge about epilepsy had more negative attitudes. The results of these analyses provided evidence for reliability and construct validity of the instrument. Additional tests of the reliability, validity, and factor structure of the scales are necessary to refine the instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-975
Number of pages11
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Attitude assessment
  • Epilepsy
  • Knowledge assessment
  • Scale development
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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