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Keywords:

  • Institute of Medicine report;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Research priorities

Summary

In March 2012 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the report, Epilepsy Across The Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding. This report examined the public health dimensions of the epilepsies with a focus on the following four areas: public health surveillance and data collection and integration; population and public health research; health policy, health care, and human services; and education for providers, people with epilepsy and their families, and the public. The report provided recommendations and research priorities for future work in the field of epilepsy that relate to increasing the power of data on epilepsy; prevention of epilepsy; improving health care for people with epilepsy; improving health professional education about epilepsy; improving quality of life for people with epilepsy; improving education about epilepsy for people with epilepsy and families; and raising public awareness about epilepsy. For this article, the authors selected one research priority from each of the major chapter themes in the IOM report: expanding and improving the quality of epidemiologic surveillance in epilepsy; developing improved interventions for people with epilepsy and depression; expanding early identification/screening for learning impairments in children with epilepsy; evaluating and promoting effective innovative teaching strategies; accelerating research on the identification of risk factors and interventions that increase employment and improve quality of life for people with epilepsy and their families; assessing the information needs of people with epilepsy and their families associated with epilepsy-related risks, specifically sudden unexpected death in epilepsy; and developing and conducting surveys to capture trends in knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and beliefs about epilepsy over time and in specific population subgroups. For each research priority selected, examples of research are provided that will advance the field of epilepsy and improve the lives of people with epilepsy. The IOM report has many other research priorities for researchers to consider developing to advance the field of epilepsy and better the lives of people with epilepsy.