The perceived health status of people with psychologically derived non-epileptic attack disorder and epilepsy: a comparative study

Seizure. 2004 Mar;13(2):71-5. doi: 10.1016/s1059-1311(03)00158-4.


While a wealth of literature describes the short and longer term impact of living with epilepsy, there is, in contrast, very little information about the impact of psychologically derived non-epileptic attack disorder (PNEAD). In the absence of any physical disease, some clinicians may assume that this group requires little help. However, evidence suggests that there maybe a significant impact. Therefore, this study has set out to document the effects on perceived health status of PNEAD. We compared 97 people with PNEAD with a sample, case matched for age and gender, of 97 people who had been previously diagnosed with epilepsy. A questionnaire was administered to both groups requesting information about their perceived overall health (SF-36) and their clinical and demographic status. PNEAD patients described a significantly poorer profile of perceived health compared with the epilepsy group. People with PNEAD have substantially impaired perceived health status, to the extent of feeling in poorer health than people with organically explained epilepsy. Clinical interventions are necessary that can improve their perceived health.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Demography
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Epilepsy, Absence / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Absence / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male