June 6, 2021

Pediatric Epilepsy and Psychoeducational Interventions: A review of the Literature

Abstract, published in Epilepsy & Behavior

For many individuals, living with epilepsy is truly a family affair throughout the life span. When it comes to childhood epilepsy, the unpredictability of seizure patterns, comorbid conditions, the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), and societal stigma can be emotionally taxing on children and their primary caregivers. To this end, this article proposes to review psychoeducational interventions provided to primary caregivers of children with an epilepsy diagnosis and the impact of such interventions on general parental coping skills. There were three main themes identified (1) caregivers’ knowledge and self-efficacy about seizure management; (2) parental epilepsy-related fears, anxiety, and stress; (3) parental sleep quality and SUDEP psychoeducation. Overall, considering research limitations, providing epilepsy-related psychoeducational interventions to primary caregivers of children with epilepsy seems to have promising evidence in the literature. After receiving such interventions, the studies show that caregivers’ psychosocial outcomes improved; they become more empowered to manage their children’s seizures and advocate for their children’s psychosocial needs.

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