Short-term outcome of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures after communication of the diagnosis

Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Dec;25(4):676-81. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.09.033. Epub 2012 Nov 15.


We previously described a communication strategy for the delivery of the diagnosis of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) that was acceptable and effective at communicating the psychological cause of PNES. This prospective multicenter study describes the short-term seizure and psychosocial outcomes after the communication of the diagnosis and with no additional treatment. Participants completed self-report measures at baseline, two and six months after the diagnosis (seizure frequency, HRQoL, health care utilization, activity levels, symptom attributions and levels of functioning). Thirty-six participants completed the self-report questionnaires. A further eight provided seizure frequency data. After six months, the median seizure frequency had dropped from 10 to 7.5 per month (p=0.9), 7/44 participants (16%) were seizure-free, and an additional 10/44 (23%) showed greater than 50% improvement in seizure frequency. Baseline questionnaire measures demonstrated high levels of impairment, which had not improved at follow-up. The lack of change in self-report measures illustrates the need for further interventions in this patient group.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Recurrence
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Seizures / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires