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Epilepsia. 1992;33 Suppl 1:S28-32.

Total patient care in epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital Mainz, Germany.


The aim of total care in epilepsy is to ensure the best possible management for each individual patient. Although pharmacotherapy for reduction or suppression of seizures is the basis of treatment in epilepsy, social and environmental problems are as likely to distress patients as continuing seizures. One often neglected aspect of management is the provision of adequate information for patients and relatives with regard to the various aspects of the seizure disorder. Better education of society regarding epilepsy is necessary to remove the many preconceptions and prejudices that still prevail. It is important to encourage self-confidence in the patient and to avoid overprotection. Restrictions on lifestyle, including driving and employment, should be decided on a case-by-case basis, and only imposed if really necessary. Patients with epilepsy refractory to treatment should have access to specialized referral centers and institutions. One of the major goals of total patient care should be to help the patient with a seizure disorder lead a normal life, insofar as this is not prevented by additional mental retardation or cognitive dysfunctions.

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