June 23, 2020

Report on a Psychoeducational Intervention for Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures in Argentina

Published in Seizure


  • Group psychoeducation in Argentina included patients with PNES and caregivers.
  • Psychoeducation could have a positive impact in patients with PNES in Argentina.
  • Patients who participated in the group reported improved emotional functioning.
  • “Group” and “psychoeducational” modality was rated as positive by most participants.


Purpose: To examine the effects of a three-session psychoeducational intervention on patients diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) in an Argentinian public hospital. PNES are involuntary episodes that look and feel similar to epileptic seizures but have psychological rather than neurological causes. It was hypothesized that patients would experience improvements in their understanding of PNES, illness perception, and affective scores but might not necessarily experience a significant change in post-traumatic and dissociative symptoms and in seizure frequency.

Results: This psychoeducational intervention produced results that were similar to interventions reported in US and European studies with regard to changes on psychological measures. Moreover, many patients also reported (on the final day of the intervention) a decrease in seizure frequency. All patients reported that participating in the intervention was a positive experience. Also, all but one patient referred that the participation in the group would have a positive impact on their quality of life.

Conclusions: Psychoeducational interventions appear to have had positive results in Argentinian patients with PNES. This is initial step in the design of empirically based psychoeducational/supportive initiatives for patients in South America.

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