Are you tuned in? The challenges of seizure identification in children with intellectual disability - A potential for video-based care-pathway

Epilepsy Behav. 2021 Feb:115:107677. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2020.107677. Epub 2020 Dec 17.


This qualitative study explores the challenges parents/carers face in seizure identification in children with coexisting epilepsy and intellectual disability (ID). Semi-structured interviews with parents/carers provided ten hours of data, transcribed verbatim for data analysis. Themes and subthemes were identified and grouped to reflect the findings. The importance of knowing the child's usual behavior and recognizing changes to this was a consistent theme. All participants reported that being 'in tune' with their child helped in seizure recognition. Participants felt that the healthcare professionals (HCP) were poor at recognizing seizures in their children at times. They had mixed thoughts on the difficulty the presence of an ID contributes to seizure recognition. The severity of ID and the seizure type were the two main variables discussed. The study concludes that knowing the child well and understanding the usual behavior of the child is crucial to seizure recognition. A video-based care pathway with videos of both usual behavior and seizure activity available to the HCP to classify the events correctly may be potentially beneficial to improve patient care.

Keywords: Epilepsy; Intellectual-disability; Pediatrics; Qualitative; Video care-pathway.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Epilepsy* / complications
  • Epilepsy* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability* / complications
  • Intellectual Disability* / diagnosis
  • Parents
  • Qualitative Research
  • Seizures / complications
  • Seizures / diagnosis