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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2016, Article ID 2018509, 10 pages
Research Article

Persons with Epilepsy: Between Social Inclusion and Marginalisation

1Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Vrazov Trg 2, SI-1104 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Poljanski Nasip 58, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3Imperial College London, School of Public Health, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Global eHealth Unit, Reynolds Building, St. Dunstan’s Road, London W6 8RP, UK
4Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Kardeljeva Ploščad 5, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
5Department for Vascular Neurology, University Clinical Centre of Ljubljana, Zaloška Cesta 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 9 December 2015; Revised 18 February 2016; Accepted 17 March 2016

Academic Editor: Enzo Emanuele

Copyright © 2016 Simona Mlinar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that can lead to complex psychosocial consequences. Epilepsy can change the social status of persons with epilepsy (PWE) and has an effect on their social inclusion as well as their perception of social inclusion. This study aims to explore subjective experiences with social inclusion of PWE in Slovenia. Methods. This study takes a qualitative approach. Eleven semistructured interviews were conducted with eleven participants. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Results. Epilepsy has physical, emotional, and social consequences. Physical consequences of epilepsy are mainly tiredness and exhaustion following an epileptic episode, frequently accompanied by headaches. Emotional consequences are different forms of fear. The main social consequence identified is a negative effect on PWE’s social network, which leads to (self-)isolation and social distrust. Conclusion. PWE experience of social inclusion depends on various psychosocial factors and differs from person to person. The consequences of epilepsy are shown in PWE social contacts and their sense of social inclusion and autonomy.