A systematic review of psychosocial interventions for children and young people with epilepsy

Mercier, A. and Dorris, L. (2024) A systematic review of psychosocial interventions for children and young people with epilepsy. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, 49, pp. 35-44. (doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2024.02.002) (PMID:38364750)

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Background: Epilepsy is a lifelong neurological disorder that has a profound impact on the lives of millions of children and young people throughout the world, and is linked with mental ill-health and a poorer quality of life. Psychosocial interventions have showed promise for children and young people with epilepsy (CYPE), however there is an absence of large-scale RCT's that would add robustness to the evidence base. The present systematic review provides an update and extension of findings from an earlier review by Corrigan et al. to assess the state of the literature in 2023. Methods: The present systematic review carried out a search of six electronic databases. Forward and backward chaining was carried out on review articles as well as the studies returned through the search to source additional studies. In total, ten articles were included in this review and appraised for quality using the Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool (CCAT). Results: Forty percent (4/10) of the included studies were rated as high quality according to the CCAT, which represents a significant proportional increase since Corrigan et al.‘s review. A meta-analysis of results was not possible due to significant methodological heterogeneity, and the variability of outcome measures, however effect sizes were reported or calculated for the majority of studies (7/10), which facilitated comparison. Despite the issues of relatively small samples, there are promising findings with regard to psychosocial interventions increasing epilepsy knowledge, coping strategies, self-efficacy, and quality of life markers. Conclusions: There is a growing evidence base supporting the efficacy of psychosocial interventions for children and young people with epilepsy. This evidence base is also increasing in quality. Particular components of treatment that prove to be effective include psychoeducation, components based on cognitive behavioural therapy principles, as well as mindfulness techniques. This aligns with the evidence-based recommendations for adult populations. Intervention goals centre around improving quality of life, reducing symptom distress, and increasing knowledge and skills. The instruments used to measure these outcomes are predominantly standardised, however remain heterogeneous between studies which impacts the overall robustness of the evidence base.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The study was funded by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) as part of the doctoral studies of the first author.
Keywords:Psychosocial, quality of life, epilepsy, children, mental health.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mercier, Anthony and Dorris, Professor Liam
Authors: Mercier, A., and Dorris, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:European Journal of Paediatric Neurology
ISSN (Online):1532-2130
Published Online:11 February 2024
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2024 The Authors
First Published:First published in European Journal of Paediatric Neurology 49: 35-44
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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