Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
SARMENTO, Maria Rosa Silva and MINAYO-GOMEZ, Carlos. Epilepsy, epileptics, and work: conflicting relations. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.16, n.1, pp. 183-193. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2000000100019.
Participation in the workplace by people with epilepsy is conditioned by various interrelated issues concerning epilepsy itself, the epileptic individual, and society's implicit cultural codes. In order to analyze how such conflictive participation interferes decisively in the quality of life of people with epilepsy, a survey was conducted with 339 patients at the University Hospital of Universidade Federal Fluminense. Patients answered questionnaires including level of schooling, professional qualifications, employment situation, frequency, type, and duration of seizures, associated phenomena, and prejudice towards epilepsy. We observed that satisfactory management of seizures is decisive for their success at work. All patients with daily seizures and 9.3% of those with weekly seizures had never been employed. We conclude that any intervention in this context must include the implementation of multiprofessional and intersectorial therapeutic programs and legislation to protect epileptic patients' rights in a broad effort at demystification of epilepsy.
Keywords : Epilepsy; Labor Relations; Occupational Health.