Implementation of a Standardized Seizure Action Plan to Improve Communication and Parental Education

Pediatr Neurol. 2020 Nov:112:56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2020.04.005. Epub 2020 Apr 17.


Background: Quality measures have highlighted the need for efficient treatment of status epilepticus. One strategy is prevention of refractory status epilepticus through individualized seizure action plans. As a quality improvement project, we implemented a standardized seizure action plan to improve the delivery of key information to families of children with seizures.

Methods: We implemented our standardized seizure action plan using plan-do-study-act cycles. The plans were distributed to caregivers of children (zero to 18 years) seen for seizures in outpatient neurology clinics. Families were given questionnaires at the beginning of each visit to gauge their understanding of their child's diagnosis, treatment, and comfort in emergency seizure management. Provider utilization rates and questionnaire responses were analyzed over time to assess the effectiveness of the action plan.

Results: Provider utilization rates of the standardized seizure action plan improved from 0% to 58.1%. At baseline, 31.5% caregivers indicated that they did not know their child's epilepsy syndrome or seizure type, 29.6% did not know the emergency protocol at their child's school, 9.2% did not know when to consider a seizure an emergency or what to do if their child's seizure had become an emergency, and 17.5% were not comfortable administering rescue medication. Caregivers who received the action plan had improved responses at subsequent visits (P < 0.001), whereas those who did not receive the standardized form did not improve.

Conclusions: Standardizing provision of seizure action plans in pediatric neurology clinic can improve key elements of caregiver education regarding epilepsy diagnoses and seizure emergencies.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Parent education; Quality improvement; Seizure; Seizure action plan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Education, Nonprofessional*
  • Emergencies
  • Epilepsy / nursing
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neurology
  • Parents*
  • Pediatrics
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Status Epilepticus / prevention & control*