Present address: Adolescent Medicine Unit, Westmead Hospital, Wentworthville, NSW 2145, Australia.
Personalised epilepsy education intervention for adolescents and impact on knowledge acquisition and psychosocial function
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 47, Issue 5, pages 271–275, May 2011
How to Cite
Frizzell, C. K., Connolly, A. M., Beavis, E., Lawson, J. A. and Bye, A. M. (2011), Personalised epilepsy education intervention for adolescents and impact on knowledge acquisition and psychosocial function. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 47: 271–275. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01952.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2011
- Accepted for publication 5 June 2010.
- educational intervention;
- psychosocial outcome
Aim: Patients frequently have poor knowledge of epilepsy, and this is associated with low self-esteem in adolescence. There is a paucity of data determining whether education alone can improve psychosocial outcome. The study investigated whether an educational intervention in adolescence:
- 1Increased understanding of epilepsy syndrome and general epilepsy knowledge.
- 2Improved self-esteem, seizure self-efficacy and attitudes towards epilepsy.
Methods: In session 1, adolescents were educated about their epilepsy syndrome in a one-on-one session, producing a personalised epilepsy medical record. In session 2, the impact of epilepsy on life-style was discussed. Pre- and post-intervention measures of knowledge, self-esteem, seizure self-efficacy and attitudes towards epilepsy were completed using validated scales. Focus groups explored the intervention's value.
Results: Thirty adolescents with epilepsy participated (female: 24, male: 6; median age: 16 years; partial symptomatic epilepsy: 15, generalised idiopathic epilepsy: 15). Self-knowledge of syndrome (P < 0.0001), general knowledge of epilepsy (P < 0.0001), attitudes towards epilepsy (P= 0.008) and seizure self-efficacy (P= 0.049) improved. Focus group data indicated that sessions were enjoyable and valuable, and the medical record was helpful.
Conclusions: The intervention significantly improved self-knowledge and general knowledge of epilepsy, attitudes towards epilepsy and seizure self-efficacy. This is the first study to demonstrate a positive impact on psychosocial outcomes following an educational intervention without a psychological component. The model has widespread application.