What is "treatment as usual" for nonepileptic seizures?

Epilepsy Behav. 2008 Apr;12(3):388-94. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2007.12.017. Epub 2008 Feb 20.


Objective: A recent NINDS/NIMH/AES-sponsored international NES Treatment Workshop identified a lack of knowledge in the field regarding standard of care in the management of patients with psychological nonepileptic seizures (NES).

Methods: We administered a survey to AES clinicians to determine actual postdiagnostic instructions given to patients and referral practices, or NES treatment as usual.

Results: The majority of respondents were epileptologists, followed by neurologists, neuropsychologists, and nurses, evenly dispersed across the United States. Almost all respondents reported discussing the diagnosis of NES with the patients. Sixty-nine percent of neurologists continued to follow the patient after NES diagnosis. Treatment referrals were most commonly made to psychiatrists and psychologists. Antiepileptic drugs were tapered by 83% of the respondents, and 47% prescribed psychotropic medications if comorbid diagnoses were made.

Conclusion: This is the first known national survey that summarizes national practices and the range of care, or treatment as usual, offered to patients with NES.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Psychotherapy / methods
  • Psychotherapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Seizures / epidemiology
  • Seizures / psychology*
  • Seizures / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Anticonvulsants