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BMJ. 2000 Jan 8;320(7227):94-7.

Cross sectional study of reporting of epileptic seizures to general practitioners.

Author information

  • 1Schools of Health, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ. j.dalrymple@uea.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Comparison of reporting of recent epileptic seizures by patients to a doctor and anonymously.

DESIGN:

Cross sectional study of patients with epilepsy by comparison of paired questionnaires.

SETTING:

Rural and urban general practices in Norfolk.

PARTICIPANTS:

122 patients aged over 16 years and able to self complete a questionnaire who were recruited by 31 general practitioners when attending for review of their epilepsy.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

The difference in reported occurrence of seizure to general practitioners and in a linked anonymous questionnaire.

RESULTS:

18 patients failed to report a seizure in the past year to their general practitioner (uncontrolled epilepsy). 40% (24/60) of people with epilepsy who anonymously reported a seizure in the past year held a driving licence, but only six revealed this to their general practitioner. The unemployment rate was 34%, substantially higher than the 9% in the general population. Measures of anxiety, depression, and stigmatization were higher in patients with uncontrolled epilepsy.

CONCLUSIONS:

A significant proportion of patients with epilepsy under-report their seizures. Recognition of underreporting is important if patients are to benefit from adequate and appropriate treatment. General practitioners' ability to treat epilepsy is hampered by their role in regulating the rights of epileptic patients to hold a driving licence or access certain occupations.

PMID:
10625265
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC27257
Free PMC Article
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