September 5, 2023

Nocturnal Seizure Detection: What are the Needs and Expectations of Adults with Epilepsy Receiving Secondary Care?

Abstract found on PubMed

Introduction: Seizure detection devices (SDDs) may lower the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) and provide reassurance to people with epilepsy and their relatives. We aimed to explore the perspectives of those receiving secondary care on nocturnal SDDs and epilepsy in general.

Materials and methods: We recruited adults with tonic or tonic-clonic seizures who had at least one nocturnal seizure in the preceding year. We used semi-structured interviews and questionnaires to explore their views on SDDs and their experiences of living with epilepsy. None of the participants had any previous experience with SDDs. We analyzed the data using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Eleven participants were included with a nocturnal seizure frequency ranging from once every few weeks to less than once a year. Some participants experienced little burden of disease, whereas others were extremely impaired. Opinions on the perceived benefit of seizure detection varied widely and did not always match the clinical profile. Some participants with high SUDEP risk displayed no interest at all, whereas others with a low risk for unattended seizures displayed a strong interest. Reasons for wanting to use SDDs included providing reassurance, SUDEP prevention, and improving night rest. Reasons for not wanting to use SDDs included not being able to afford it, having to deal with false alarms, not having anyone to act upon the alarms, having a relative that will notice any seizures, not feeling like the epilepsy is severe enough to warrant SDD usage or not trusting the device.

Conclusions: The interest in nocturnal seizure detection varies among participants with low seizure frequencies and does not always match the added value one would expect based on the clinical profile. Further developments should account for the heterogeneity in user groups.

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