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From the editors: Epilepsia's 2014 Operational Definition of Epilepsy survey.

  • Author(s): Mathern, Gary W
  • Beninsig, Laurie
  • Nehlig, Astrid
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.12812
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: From March 19 to June 30, 2014, Epilepsia conducted an open access online survey asking directed questions related to the 2014 Operational Definition of Epilepsy. This study reports the findings of that poll. METHODS: The survey consisted of seven questions. Three questions addressed: (1) Criteria for when a person could be considered to have epilepsy after a single seizure; (2) if individuals with reflex seizures (unprovoked) have epilepsy; and (3) when epilepsy could be considered "resolved." Four added questions asked if responders were medical personal compared with patients and family members, geographic region of residence based on International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) regions, and if responders had read the paper and if they were ILAE/International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) members. RESULTS: Of 476 that started the survey, 324 (68%) completed it. As recommended in the ILAE report, 43% agreed that if the chance of a second seizure after a first one was 61-90%, then a person could be considered to have epilepsy. More medical professionals agreed with the 61-90% criteria (55%) compared with patients (21%), while more patients indicated that epilepsy should only be defined after two unprovoked seizures (51%) compared with medical professionals (21%; p < 0.0001). The majority indicated that reflex seizures qualify a person as having epilepsy (79%). As recommended in the ILAE report, 51% agreed that the definition of a person with "resolved" epilepsy would be 10 years seizure-free and off medication for the last 5 years. More medical professionals agreed with this definition (59%) compared with patients (37%), while more patients indicated that epilepsy is never resolved (32%) compared with medical professionals (7%; p < 0.0001). There were no differences based on geographic residence. SIGNIFICANCE: This survey found that the ILAE recommendations had the highest responses. However, there was clear disagreement with identified differences comparing medical personal with patients. These findings support the notion that there is a need and further opportunities for the ILAE to educate medical professionals and patients and their families on the 2014 Operational Definition of Epilepsy.

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