February 15, 2023

Project ECHO Telementoring Program in Epilepsy for School Nurses

Abstract found on PubMed

Objectives: Many children with epilepsy experience seizures at school. School nurses must have the clinical expertise to deliver high-quality, safe care for students with epilepsy. However, in some regions of the U.S. access to interactive, epilepsy evidence-based education programs is limited. The objective of this project was to assess the feasibility of adapting the Epilepsy Foundation’s (EFs) school nurse education program to the ECHO model and evaluate its impact on school nurse knowledge and self-efficacy in managing epilepsy in students with seizures and program satisfaction.

Methods: The EFs educational program for school nurses was adapted to the ECHO model and delivered by a team of interdisciplinary epilepsy specialists via videoconferencing. Retrospective post-program surveys were administered at program completion. Data from 32 participants with complete post-program surveys were used for the analysis of knowledge and confidence. Descriptive statistics and the sign test were conducted.

Results: Participants were 166 school nurses from 13 states. The majority had > 15 years of school nurse experience and served schools in suburban or rural areas. Improvements in knowledge and confidence were reported on most survey items. The highest improvements in self-reported knowledge and confidence were in psychosocial aspects of care, comorbidities, and recognition of nonepileptic events. Program satisfaction was rated as high by over 90% of participants.

Conclusions: Telementoring using the ECHO methodology is a feasible modality to educate and link epilepsy specialists and providers with school nurses nationwide. Findings suggest that attending the MSS ECHO provided an educational and meaningful learning experience. The gains in knowledge and confidence in psychosocial aspects of epilepsy care and comorbidities highlight the importance of the inclusion of this content in educational programs.