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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Study: Training helps people with epilepsy get "competitive positions"

17 June, 2004

Most people with
epilepsy can compete in the job market given the proper vocational
training services, according to new research from University of Missouri-Columbia.

David
Mount, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellow and
NIH-National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities scholar,
found that when services such as on-the-job training and vocational
counseling were used, people with epilepsy were more likely to be
successfully employed. His study also found that of those clients who
were successfully employed, 84 per cent were employed in "competitive
positions".

It
was noted before the study that when someone is diagnosed with
epilepsy, the decision of whether or not to disclose the condition to
an employer can become a major issue. Fears of losing a job because an
employer is concerned over possible seizures at work can lead many
patients to hide their diagnosis. However, the study found that those
who seek vocational training services can significantly reduce economic
instability. At the time of their referral, 41 per cent received
Medicaid or Medicare and 52 per cent relied on friends or family for
their primary financial support.

Mount commented:

"This
finding is encouraging as it indicates that a significant number of
persons with epilepsy are able to return to work and some degree of
financial independence with vocational assistance. Furthermore, the
results are encouraging as they indicate this group was able to triple
the number of hours they worked on a weekly basis with a similar
increase in their average weekly earnings."