"Sometimes, it just stops me from doing anything": A qualitative exploration of epilepsy management in people with intellectual disabilities and their carers

Mengoni, Silvana E., Gates, Bob, Parkes, Georgina, Wellsted, David, Barton, Garry, Ring, Howard, Koho, Mary Ellen, Monji-Patel, Deela, Friedli, Karin, Zia, Asif and Durand, Marie-Anne (2016) "Sometimes, it just stops me from doing anything": A qualitative exploration of epilepsy management in people with intellectual disabilities and their carers. Epilepsy & Behavior, 64 (A). pp. 133-139. ISSN 1525-5050

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Abstract

Purpose

Epilepsy affects 1 in 5 people with an intellectual disability (ID), but little is known about their experiences of living with epilepsy. A qualitative study was conducted to investigate the impact and management of epilepsy in people with ID.

Materials and methods

People with epilepsy and ID and their carers were invited to take part in semi-structured interviews. Eleven participants with ID and their carers were interviewed together, one participant with ID and their carer were interviewed separately, two interviews took place with the participant with ID only, and one interview took place with the carer only. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, coded, and analyzed thematically (dual independent coding for 30% of the transcripts).

Results

Three themes emerged (participant characteristics, living with epilepsy, epilepsy management and information needs) which indicated the following: 1) diversity regarding health profiles, communication abilities, severity of epilepsy, perceived control of epilepsy, and support needs; 2) a reduction in severity and frequency of seizures for a sizeable proportion of participants through antiepileptic drugs; 3) the lifelong impact of epilepsy and related seizures on participants' activities and quality of life; 4) the perceived burden of epilepsy and difficulty managing the condition for a large proportion of participants; 5) high levels of satisfaction with epilepsy-related services and care; and 6) an overall lack of written accessible information about epilepsy.

Conclusions

This study has highlighted a significant impact of epilepsy and related seizures on the daily lives and quality of life of people with ID. Although a sizeable proportion of participants and their carers considered their epilepsy to be well controlled, the majority reported difficulties managing epilepsy and minimizing its impact on their wellbeing. Excluding care staff and the support provided by epilepsy clinics, the participants had not accessed any adapted self-management or information resources about epilepsy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Epilepsy; Intellectual disabilities; Self-management; Qualitative study
Subjects: Medicine and health > Nursing > Learning disabilities nursing
Medicine and health
Depositing User: Bob Gates
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 09:31
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2017 09:23
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2895

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