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Comparison of a dedicated children's Seizure Clinic to mixed General Paediatric Clinics


Dr Colin Dunkley, C/o Secretary to Dr WP Whitehouse, Department of Paediatric Neurology, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham Ng7 2uh, UK


Background  In the light of recent recommendations regarding the current management of children with possible epilepsy in the UK, different models of care are compared using an existing validated audit tool.

Methods  The initial clinical assessment process, investigation, management and communication regarding children referred with suspected epilepsy to general paediatric clinics or a paediatric seizure clinic was compared using the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) audit tool.

Results  Ninety-three children were included in the comparison. The history and description of the episodes was better documented in the Seizure Clinic (SC). Children's early development (79% vs. 50%) and school performance (86% vs. 42%) were better documented in the SC. Documentation of possible side effects relating to newly prescribed anti-epileptic drugs was poor in both groups (33% vs. 15%).

Conclusions  Differences between models of epilepsy care can be detected using audit tools although there are some methodological limitations of this particular study. Future similar studies as well as informing local practice can add to the debate on the appropriate way forward in improving the care for children with epilepsy.