Myths, perceptions, and incorrect knowledge surrounding epilepsy in rural Zimbabwe: A study of the villagers in Buhera District
The aim of this study was to assess the myths, perceptions, and incorrect knowledge that people in Buhera Rural District harbor about epilepsy. The study was conducted among people living with epilepsy (n = 100) using a standardized questionnaire that was developed after two focus group discussions with the village health workers (n = 20) and interviews with the key informants. Each respondent was interviewed during their monthly visit to Murambinda Mission Hospital. Focus group discussions and interviews identified 32 types of myths, perceptions, and incorrect knowledge relating to the causes, prevention, treatment, and effects of epilepsy. Most of the respondents agreed that epilepsy is a misunderstood condition that has stigmatizing myths, perceptions, and incorrect knowledge surrounding it. The study concludes that these myths, perceptions, and incorrect knowledge are a hindrance to the aim of reducing the treatment gap in epilepsy in Buhera, Zimbabwe and that desired quality of life for people with epilepsy can only be achieved after imparting accurate understanding of epilepsy in rural communities.