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epilepsy, evidence-based protocol, self-management



  1. Cole, Kimberly A.
  2. Gaspar, Phyllis M.


ABSTRACT: It is essential that patients with epilepsy receive educational information about their disease and its management, but there is dissatisfaction with the education received. The purposes of this evidence-based project were to examine the current knowledge level and disease management behaviors of patients with epilepsy in an outpatient clinic and to measure the effectiveness of implementing a self-management protocol using the Epilepsy Self-Management Scale (ESMS). Pender's health promotion model and Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory were used to guide the development and completion of this project. An evidence-based epilepsy self-management protocol was developed and implemented at an outpatient neurology clinic by an interprofessional clinic team that consisted of (a) evaluation of self-management behaviors (ESMS), (b) individual education using the ESMS and developed resources, (c) follow-up telephone call, and (d) measurement of outcomes of the self-management protocol (patient self-management [ESMS] and process). Twenty patients participated in all or portions of the protocol. Scores on the ESMS increased from preimplementation to postimplementation of the protocol (t = -2.67). Seizure management and information management were identified as the most difficult self-management areas. Recommended changes in protocol implementation include adding information about safety measures such as medical alert bracelets and driving to the educational packets. Follow-up telephone calls were discontinued because of difficulties reaching patients. The results of this study suggest that the ESMS is an acceptable tool for evaluating patients' self-management behaviors. Epilepsy self-management protocols need to include both verbal and written educational materials. Educating patients with epilepsy about positive self-management behaviors may lead to better health outcomes.