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The impact of epilepsy on patients' lives

Kerr, Michael Patrick 2012. The impact of epilepsy on patients' lives. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 126 (s194) , pp. 1-9. 10.1111/ane.12014

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The impact of epilepsy is multifaceted and extensive on its effects. The occurrence of seizures is unpredictable and often dangerous, increasing the risk of injury, hospitalization and mortality, and adversely affecting a patient’s mental health, often resulting in anxiety, depression or cognitive impairment. Seizures can also result in stigmatization and social exclusion, with detrimental effects on an individual’s confidence and self-esteem. However, the burden of epilepsy extends beyond the effects of seizures themselves. In particular, individuals with epilepsy are significantly more likely to have medical or psychiatric comorbidities than those without epilepsy, and comorbidity in patients with epilepsy has been shown to be strongly correlated with negative impacts on subjective health status and quality of life (QoL). In addition, antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment is commonly associated with side effects, which further impair patients’ QoL. Patient surveys provide valuable insights into what matters to patients in their daily lives and highlight important discrepancies between the perceptions of patients and their physicians. For example, survey data show that physicians underestimate the number of patients experiencing AED side effects and the impact of these on patients. Screening questionnaires can help physicians to quickly identify problems with treatment side effects; also, to recognize comorbidities such as depression that are otherwise difficult to identify in a time-limited consultation. Ultimately, successful management of epilepsy requires a holistic approach to care, with treatment tailored to the individual patient’s needs; this can only be achieved through effective doctor–patient communication and the full involvement of a multidisciplinary care team.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: antiepileptic drug; comorbidity; epilepsy; functional status; patient survey; quality of life; side effects
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0001-6314
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:40

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