Self-management of Epilepsy A Systematic Review

Matthew W. Luedke, Dan V. Blalock, Karen M. Goldstein, Andrzej S. Kosinski, Saurabh R. Sinha, Connor Drake, Jeffrey D. Lewis, Aatif M. Husain, Allison A. Lewinski, Abigail Shapiro, Jennifer M. Gierisch, Tung T. Tran, Adelaide M. Gordon, Megan G. Van Noord, Hayden B. Bosworth, John W. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Although self-management is recommended for persons with epilepsy, its optimal strategies and effects are uncertain. Purpose: To evaluate the components and efficacy of selfmanagement interventions in the treatment of epilepsy in community-dwelling persons. Data Sources: English-language searches of MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PsycINFO, and CINAHL in April 2018; the MEDLINE search was updated in March 2019. Study Selection: Randomized and nonrandomized comparative studies of self-management interventions for adults with epilepsy. Data Extraction: An investigator assessed study characteristics; intervention details, including 6 components of selfmanagement; and outcomes, which were verified by a second reviewer. Risk of bias (ROB) was assessed independently by 2 investigators. Data Synthesis: 13 randomized and 2 nonrandomized studies (2514 patients) evaluated self-management interventions. Interventions were delivered primarily in group settings, used a median of 4 components, and followed 2 general strategies: 1 based on education and the other on psychosocial therapy. Education-based approaches improved self-management behaviors (standardized mean difference, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.0 to 1.04]), and psychosocial therapy–based approaches improved quality of life (mean difference, 6.64 [CI, 2.51 to 10.77]). Overall, self-management interventions did not reduce seizure rates, but 1 educational intervention decreased a composite of seizures, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations. Limitation: High ROB in most studies, incomplete intervention descriptions, and studies limited to English-language publications. Conclusion: There is limited evidence that self-management strategies modestly improve some patient outcomes that are important to persons with epilepsy. Overall, self-management research in epilepsy is limited by the range of interventions tested, the small number of studies using self-monitoring technology, and uncertainty about components and strategies associated with benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 16 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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