• Educational program;
  • Knowledge;
  • Coping;
  • Seizure frequency;
  • Quality of life;
  • Epilepsy-related fears;
  • Self-esteem

Summary:  Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of the educational program MOSES (Modular Service Package Epilepsy). It was developed to improve patients' knowledge and understanding about their epilepsy, its treatment, and psychosocial consequences. The program intends to improve patients' coping with the disease, to strengthen self-esteem, and to support patients to become experts in managing their epilepsy.

Methods: A controlled, randomized study design was used to examine the efficacy of MOSES. Patients from 22 epilepsy centers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland were randomly allocated to either MOSES group (treatment group) or waiting-list group (control group). The 242 patients were aged from 16 to 80 years. The MOSES group (n = 113) completed the questionnaires immediately before the educational course (T1) and 6 months later (T2), and the control group (n = 129), 6 months before (T1) and immediately before (T2) the course. The questionnaires included generic instruments (SF-36, Rosenberg self-esteem Scale, von Zerssen Depression Scale), and epilepsy-specific scales (Restrictions in Daily Life, Epilepsy-Related Fears, Coping with Epilepsy and Adaptation). Depression was used as a moderator variable. Seizure frequency and satisfaction with therapy also were assessed. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) with repeated measurements and univariate analyses of variance were performed.

Results: The MANOVA showed that participants of the educational program improved significantly. Univariate analyses revealed improvements in knowledge (p < 0.001) and coping with epilepsy (p = 0.004), whereas important effects of MOSES on other epilepsy-specific measures and on generic questionnaires (SF-36, self-esteem) were not found. Participants of the MOSES program also improved in seizure outcome (p = 0.041) and became more satisfied with the therapy [better tolerability of antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy, fewer side effects; p = 0.014]. In addition, participants expressed being highly satisfied with the program.

Conclusions: The study clearly indicates the need for patient education. Even patients with a long history of epilepsy and with additional handicaps or diseases benefitted from the MOSES program.