• Classifications;
  • Seizure;
  • Standardized interview;
  • Cross-cultural translation;
  • Epidemiology

Summary: Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the acceptability and validity of the French cross-cultural translation of a semistructured interview for seizure classification (SISC). We used the first revised version, the original of which was validated in 1990.

Methods: We administered the French SISC to a sample of 67 adults older than 15 years, comprising 17 controls and 50 patients with epilepsy (without provoked or isolated seizures). A cross-cultural translation was made from American English into French. Medical records were reviewed by epileptologists, who classified seizures, syndromes, and risk factors in accordance with the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) classifications. Agreement between interview- and physician-based diagnoses was assessed with a kappa coefficient (K) at each level of the recognized schemes for the classification of seizures (both broad and specific categories), syndromes, and risk factors.

Results: The sensitivity of the French SISC in diagnosing an epileptic seizure was 100%, with a specificity of 94%. Interview-based diagnoses agreed with those of physicians in 90% of patients for broad seizure categories [ie, generalized or focal in origin (K = 0.74)]. When diagnoses agreed on focal origin, the agreement on seizure types—simple or complex—was 91% (K = 0.84). Among generalized seizures, the agreement was 73% (K = 0.60). Agreement on epilepsy syndromes was excellent for generalized epilepsy but moderate for focal epilepsy. Agreement on identified risk factors was 93%.

Conclusions: The K coefficients demonstrated a good level of reliability. These results support the acceptability of this type of interview and the validity of the French version of the SISC.