Full-Length Original Research
Enhancing medical compliance of patients with convulsive epilepsy in rural community: A randomized intervention trial
Juan Li and Yang Si contributed equally to this article.
This randomized intervention trial was to determine whether the implementation of a practical intervention was effective in enhancing medical compliance and improving seizure control among patients with convulsive epilepsy in rural communities in western China.
Two of four areas were randomly selected for this study and assigned to be the intervention group (IG) and the control group (CG), respectively. An intervention package with four components (intensive education, consultation services, maintenance of an epilepsy tracking card, and repeated reminders) was formulated. Medical compliance included antiepileptic drug (AED) adherence and lifestyle; each was graded on a 6-point scale with possible scores. Medical compliance and seizure control were measured and compared between the groups before and after the intervention. In addition, correlation of both changes in medical compliance and seizure frequency were investigated.
After 1-year follow-up, 183 patients in the IG (105 male) and 177 in the CG (99 male) remained for the analysis. At the end of the study, the average number of seizures in the IG declined 18.3% compared to that prior to the intervention (after 6-month phenobarbital monotherapy), nearly twice as much as in CG (9.1%) with statistical difference (p = 0.023). The proportion of patients with a reduction in seizures >50% (including those who were seizure-free) rose to 79.8% in the IG compared to 61.0% in the CG (p < 0.05). With regard to medical compliance, the majority of the IG members were rated as excellent or very good, but medical compliance remained nearly unchanged for the CG. A moderate correlation was found between the changes in AED adherence and seizure control (r = 0.4, p < 0.05), and a weaker correlation was found between lifestyle and seizure control (r = 0.328, p < 0.05).
This intervention package proved to be efficient in enhancing medical compliance and improving seizure control in rural communities of resource-poor areas.