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Br J Gen Pract. 1996 Dec;46(413):731-4.

Audit of the care of patients with epilepsy in general practice.



Previous studies have shown that there is great potential for improving the management of patients with epilepsy.


To identify all patients with epilepsy, to evaluate and audit their care in relation to an annual review, to document seizure frequency and appropriateness of daily therapy to aid compliance and to propose strategies to improve these and other aspects of epileptic care.


An audit of the care of patients with epilepsy was undertaken in two King's Lynn practices with a combined population of 22,500. Principles for the management of epilepsy were established. From these principles, the following standards were agreed: 75% of patients on treatment for epilepsy should be seen every year, 75% of patients should have their seizure frequency documented, and 75% of patients should take their anti-epileptic drugs no more than twice daily. As a result of the first audit cycle, changes were made in the documentation and advice regarding treatment relating to these standards.


The first audit cycle showed that 83% of patients had been seen at least once in the previous year, that documentation of seizure frequency existed for 51% of patients in the past year, and that 63% of patients were taking their treatment no more than twice daily. The evaluation was repeated 22 months later and an overall improvement was demonstrated in the first two results: 95% of patients had been seen in the past year, 93% had had their seizure frequency documented; however, only 66% of patients were taking their treatment twice daily or less.


Call and recall, and documentation of seizure frequency were improved by this clinical audit. However, alterations in daily therapy appeared difficult for a variety of reasons; for example, therapy might have been initiated by a hospital specialist, and patients in a stable condition might have been apprehensive about changes. In order to improve the care of patients with epilepsy, a primary care team approach is desirable within a structure of good specialist services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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