Coping with stress: A pilot study of a self-help stress management intervention for patients with epileptic or psychogenic non-epileptic seizures

Novakova, Barbora, Harris, Peter, Rawlings, Gregg H and Reuber, Markus (2019) Coping with stress: A pilot study of a self-help stress management intervention for patients with epileptic or psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. Epilepsy and Behavior. ISSN 1525-5050 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Purpose: Many patients with epilepsy or psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) experience high levels of stress. Although psychological interventions have been developed for seizure disorders, few patients can currently access them. We aimed to assess the acceptability and feasibility of a self-help intervention targeting stress in patients with seizures, and to provide preliminary evidence for its effectiveness.
Method: Patients were recruited from outpatient neurology clinics and randomised to an immediate intervention group (n=39), who received the intervention at baseline, or a delayed intervention group (n=43), who received the intervention one month post-baseline. Participants completed self-report questionnaires measuring stress (SSSI), anxiety (GAD-7), depression (NDDI-E), quality of life (EQ-5D), seizure severity and frequency (LSSS-3) at baseline, and at one- and two-month follow-up. Participants also provided telephone feedback. The intervention consisted of a self-help stress management workbook based on an integrative stress model framework.
Results: Although the rate of participants failing to return follow-up information at two months was approximately 50%, those who completed the trial found the intervention acceptable; with the majority rating it as helpful (63.6%) and that they would recommend it to others with seizures (88.1%). A significant reduction in self-reported stress (p = 0.01) with a medium effect size (dz = 0.51) was observed one-month post-intervention. There were no significant changes in any other measures.
Conclusion: The intervention was perceived to be acceptable, safe and helpful by participants. It could be a useful complementary treatment option for reducing stress experienced by patients living with seizure disorders. Further evaluation in a larger trial is warranted.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Epilepsy; psychogenic non-epileptic seizures; stress; self-help intervention; self-affirmation
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2019 10:41
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2019 10:41
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82837

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