Cognitive-behavior therapy with adult patients with epilepsy: a controlled outcome study

Epilepsia. May-Jun 1986;27(3):225-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1986.tb03533.x.


The present study evaluated the efficacy of group cognitive-behavior therapy for the alleviation of psychosocial problems and reduction of seizures with adult epileptic patients. Twenty-seven outpatients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Supportive Counseling (attention-placebo control), and Waiting list (no treatment control). The major outcome measures used were: patient's, neurologist's, and therapist's global ratings of psychological adjustment, patient's target complaints and weekly seizure frequency, patient's and neurologist's ratings of seizure control, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Washington Psychosocial Seizure Inventory, and the Beck Depression Inventory. No significant differences were found among the three groups on these measures except for therapist's global ratings of psychological adjustment, on which both the Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and Supportive Counseling groups improved significantly after therapy, but the Waiting List control group did not. Overall, little support was found for the efficacy of group cognitive behavior therapy (eight 2-h weekly sessions) for the reduction of psychosocial difficulties or seizures. Implications of the present findings are discussed, with the need for further controlled outcome research stressed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cognition
  • Depression / therapy
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychological Tests