September 1, 2023

One-Day Psychosocial Education Program for People with Epilepsy: A Continuation Study of the “Epi-School”

Abstract found on PubMed

Psychosocial education programs for people with epilepsy (PWE) can improve epilepsy knowledge and quality of life (QOL), whereas the availability of these programs is limited in Japan compared to other developed countries. This study evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of a one-day group psychosocial education program named the “one-day Epi-school” for PWE and their relatives. The previous program (Epi-school) required consistent participation in three sessions, resulting in problems with program continuation rates, with 45.5% of PWE completing the program. Therefore, the “one-day Epi-school” was designed to provide information about epilepsy and address psychosocial issues related to coexisting epilepsy symptoms, such as self-stigma and self-esteem, while allowing participants to accomplish these programs within a single day. The study recruited a sample of 32 PWE and their relatives from a psychiatric clinic. They completed assessments of knowledge, self-stigma, self-esteem, and quality of life before and after the program. The results exhibited a significant increase in epilepsy knowledge after the intervention for PWE and their relatives. However, we could not identify other significant changes. The participation completion rate was 100%. The post-participation questionnaire proved beneficial to interact with other PWE. The study suggests that a single intervention, e.g., the one-day Epi-school, may be insufficient for enhancing other factors, yet it can be an adequate opportunity for learning and interacting. It is also necessary to implement future studies with larger sample sizes, a control group, and prolonged follow-up periods for the program’s value and validity.