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Epilepsia. 2019 Apr 13. doi: 10.1111/epi.14728. [Epub ahead of print]

Randomized controlled trial of motivational interviewing for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
2
Epilepsy Center of Excellence, Neurology Service, Veterans Administration Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut.
3
Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
6
Psychology Service, Veterans Administration Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We conducted a randomized controlled trial of motivational interviewing (MI) as an intervention to improve psychotherapy adherence and outcomes, including frequency of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), quality of life, and emergency department utilization, among participants with PNES.

METHODS:

Sixty participants were randomized to receive either psychotherapy alone or MI plus psychotherapy. Participants and therapists were contacted at 16-week follow-up. Participants were considered adherent with psychotherapy if they attended at least eight sessions within 16 weeks following referral.

RESULTS:

Among control participants, 31.0% were adherent, whereas among MI participants, 65.4% were adherent (P = 0.015, absolute risk reduction = 34.4%, number needed to treat = 2.9). In the control arm, PNES frequency decreased by 34.8% (standard deviation [SD] = 89.7%), whereas in the MI arm, PNES frequency decreased by 76.2% (SD = 39.2%; P = 0.034, Cohen's d = 0.59). Among control participants, 10.7% achieved PNES freedom versus 30.8% of MI participants (P = 0.095). Quality of Life in Epilepsy-10 scores (a 40-point scale) improved by an average of 1.8 (SD = 7.9) points among control participants, and by 7.2 (SD = 10.0) points among MI participants (P = 0.047, Cohen's d = 0.60). Monthly emergency department visits increased by 0.06 (SD = 0.47) visits per month among control participants versus a decrease of 0.15 (SD = 0.76) among MI participants (P = 0.23).

SIGNIFICANCE:

Motivational interviewing improved treatment adherence, PNES frequency, and quality of life among our participants with PNES. Our study is limited in that it was conducted at a single quaternary care medical center, and MI was provided by a single neurologist, which may limit generalization of results.

KEYWORDS:

adherence; clinical trial; functional neurological disorder; implementation science; motivational interviewing; psychogenic nonepileptic seizures

PMID:
30980679
DOI:
10.1111/epi.14728

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