From the Journals

Self-management intervention for epilepsy achieves health improvements

 

Key clinical point: A remote, self-management intervention for epilepsy can achieve improvements in health outcomes.

Major finding: A remote, self-management intervention for epilepsy was associated with significantly fewer negative health events, compared with being in a wait-list control group.

Study details: A randomized, controlled trial in 120 individuals with epilepsy.

Disclosures: The study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three authors declared research grants, consultancies, royalties, or speaking positions with the private sector.

Source: Sajatovic M et al. Epilepsia. 2018 Aug 10. doi: 10.1111/epi.14527.


 

FROM EPILEPSIA

Self-management of epilepsy using a group-format, remote intervention improved mood, quality of life, and health functioning in high-risk individuals in a randomized, controlled trial.

Dr. Martha Sajatovic

Dr. Martha Sajatovic

In the 6-month trial, 120 individuals with epilepsy who had experienced at least one epilepsy-related health event in the previous 6 months were randomized either to a wait-list control group or a novel self‐management intervention.

The eight-session intervention, known as SMART, focused on modifiable factors that can be addressed with self-management, such as stress, substance abuse, routine, nutrition, and social support. It was delivered remotely over 8-10 weeks, either by telephone or online, after an initial in-person session.

“SMART combines the portability and low cost of a Web‐based intervention with the personally salient components of behavior modeling obtained by interacting with individuals who have ‘walked the walk’ in living with epilepsy,” Martha Sajatovic, MD, of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and her coauthors wrote about their study published in Epilepsia.

Over the 6-month follow-up period, researchers found that individuals randomized to the intervention had a mean of 10.16 fewer negative health events, compared with a mean of 1.93 fewer events in the control group (P = .04).

When the authors looked at subcategories of negative health event counts – such as past 3-day seizure count or past 6‐month ED and hospitalization count – the differences were not significant. There was also no difference in seizure severity.

However, the study also showed significant improvements in participants’ self-rated depressive symptom severity, observer-rated depressive symptom severity, quality of life, and health functioning – both physical and mental – compared with controls. Intervention participants also reported significant improvements on the Epilepsy Self-Efficacy and Epilepsy Self-Management scales.

The majority of participants (94.2%) said the intervention was useful and that it covered the most important issues for them. A total of 92.3% believed the benefits of the SMART intervention were worth the hassle of taking part.

“SMART’s strengths are its foundation based on participatory research methods and an evidence‐based intervention, its use of peer educators facilitating empowerment and training, multimode delivery using traditional group format and telehealth approaches to eliminate barriers to care, and efficacy even in people who have long‐standing epilepsy,” the authors wrote.

“It is possible that SMART, which uses people with epilepsy as guides to help others learn to cope with the challenges of living with this common chronic neurologic condition, may help to alleviate some of the factors that prevent people with epilepsy from optimizing their quality of life.”

The study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three authors declared research grants, consultancies, royalties, or speaking positions with the private sector.

SOURCE: Sajatovic M et al. Epilepsia. 2018 Aug 10. doi: 10.1111/epi.14527.

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