‘Breaking Good News’: Neurologists' experiences of discussing SUDEP with patients in Scotland

Nisbet, T., Turnbull, S., Mulhern, S. and Razvi, S. (2017) ‘Breaking Good News’: Neurologists' experiences of discussing SUDEP with patients in Scotland. Epilepsy and Behavior, 70(Pt. A), pp. 72-79. (doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.02.024) (PMID:28411519)

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Abstract

Since the findings of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) in 2010, clinicians working in Scotland have been advised to discuss the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) with patients immediately or soon after a diagnosis of epilepsy is made. A thematic analysis was used to describe the experiences discussing SUDEP of 10 clinicians (six Consultant Neurologists and four Neurology Registrars) working in Scotland. Contrary to previous research, clinicians appear to be routinely discussing SUDEP in a standardized fashion with newly diagnosed patients and the FAI appears to have instigated this change in practice. Clinicians are ambivalent about the practice and whether this is a Breaking Bad News (BBN) experience. Clinicians appear to anticipate that patients will be anxious or distressed discussing SUDEP, despite their experiences that patients do not react this way. There are further concerns that the pressure to discuss SUDEP, as a result of the FAI, hinders effective communication of the SUDEP message. Implications for guideline development are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mulhern, Dr Sharon and Turnbull, Dr Susan
Authors: Nisbet, T., Turnbull, S., Mulhern, S., and Razvi, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Epilepsy and Behavior
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1525-5050
ISSN (Online):1525-5069
Published Online:12 April 2017

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