Standard medical care for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures in Brazil

Epilepsy Behav. 2015 Apr:45:128-35. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2015.02.032. Epub 2015 Mar 21.


Knowledge about health systems can promote implementation of more specific and strategic health practices for patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES). For this purpose, we surveyed the current management of PNES (standard medical care [SMC]) by Brazilian League Against Epilepsy members. Respondents reported diagnosing PNES with a mean frequency of 3patients/month. Video-EEG (vEEG) was considered the best method for the diagnosis. Respondents who have vEEG in their facilities refer to vEEG significantly more often than those who have no vEEG (p<0.001). Therefore, South and Southeast Brazil regions referred patients more frequently to vEEG than other regions (p=0.004). Psychotherapy was considered the most effective (92.2%) treatment option, followed by education (75%) and psychopharmacology (70.3%). There were no regional differences considering treatment. The study identified current national diagnostic and treatment practices across the country and identified relevant Brazilian regional differences.

Keywords: Diagnosis; Nonepileptic seizures; Treatment; Video-EEG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Humans
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / therapy*
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Seizures / psychology
  • Seizures / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome