Patient views on primary care services for epilepsy and areas where additional professional knowledge would be welcome

Seizure. 1998 Dec;7(6):447-57. doi: 10.1016/s1059-1311(98)80002-2.


In the past decade there has been increasing interest in the part that general practice can play in the care of people with epilepsy. Primary care services for epilepsy vary from practice to practice. Some studies have suggested that people with epilepsy prefer secondary care services and are not keen for their epilepsy to be managed in general practice, but much of the data were collected in secondary care. This study collected data from various sources about present provision of services, patient satisfaction with services, views about service development, areas where GP knowledge may be improved and whether the site of data collection influenced the results. A questionnaire was piloted, then distributed and collected through branches of the British Epilepsy Association, general practice and secondary care clinics. Data collected were both quantitative and qualitative. One hundred and seventy-eight questionnaires were collected from three sources. The responders were a severe seizure group. Structured care in general practice was uncommon with 54% being seen only when needed. Dose and type of antiepileptic medication was rarely altered in general practice. Information about their condition was given to 44% of the responders by their GP. Sixty-one percent would prefer their epilepsy care to be 'shared' between primary and secondary services. The majority of patients were satisfied with GP services, felt they could easily discuss their epilepsy, but 58% felt they 'rarely' or 'never' received enough information about their condition in general practice. Satisfaction with GP care varied, dependent on where the data were collected. Patients would value more information and more time to discuss the effects of their epilepsy. In conclusion general practice care for epilepsy is still reactive. Patients value more information and more time to discuss implications. The data collection point affects the results; any conclusions about the organisation of epilepsy care should draw data from community patient samples.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Data Collection
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurology / organization & administration*
  • Neurology / standards
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / standards
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom