June 9, 2023

Integrated Psychological Care services within Seizure Settings: Key Components and Implementation Factors Among Example Services in Four ILAE Regions: A Report by the ILAE Psychiatry Commission

Abstract found on Wiley Online Library

Mental health comorbidities are prevalent and problematic in patients with seizures but often suboptimally managed. To address common gaps in care, the Integrated Mental Health Care Pathways Task Force of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Psychiatry Commission was tasked with providing education and guidance on the integration of mental health management (e.g., screening, referral, treatment) into routine seizure care. This report aims to describe a variety of established services in this area, with a specific focus on psychological care models. Services were identified by members of the ILAE Psychiatry Commission and authors of psychological intervention trials in epilepsy. A total of eight services met inclusion criteria and agreed to be showcased. They include three pediatric and five adult services located across four distinct ILAE regions (Europe, North America, Africa, Asia Oceania). The report describes the core operations, known outcomes, and implementation factors (i.e., barriers and facilitators) of these services. The report concludes with a set of practical tips for building successful psychological care services within seizure settings, including the importance of having local champions, clearly defining the scope of the service, and establishing sustainable funding models. The breadth of exemplars demonstrates how models tailored to the local environment and resources can be implemented. This report is an initial step to disseminate information regarding integrated mental health care within seizure care settings. Future work is needed to systematically examine both psychological and pharmacological care models and to further establish the evidence base in this area, especially around clinical impact, and cost-effectiveness.