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Leading Epilepsy Groups Unveil New Survey Results Challenging Patients to Take Charge of Their Health
Date:12/3/2007

Results Demonstrate Patients' Need to Spearhead Talks with Doctors about

New Treatment Options

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- While the nation's epilepsy specialists have adopted "no seizures, no side effects" as a major goal for people with epilepsy, a new survey shows that less than half of patients with active epilepsy are informed by their doctors about treatment options. The American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Foundation today announced results from the jointly sponsored patient survey underscoring the need for enhanced patient knowledge of treatment objectives and improved patient-physician dialogue for better epilepsy care. The two organizations are raising awareness of the survey results to empower patients to seek more from their treatment to improve epilepsy control. The survey was supported through a sponsorship by Pfizer Inc.

Fewer than half (47%) of those surveyed report that their doctor discussed alternative treatments with them, with neurologists more likely to do so than primary care providers. Least likely to be discussed is surgery, a finding that might suggest that a significant number of potential surgery candidates might not be aware of this option. In fact, many people with poorly controlled seizures do not get referred to epileptologists or specialized epilepsy centers that focus on more difficult to control epilepsy.

Also striking is that one-fourth (26%) of all patients surveyed said they did not know what their doctors would rank as a significant improvement in seizure control. While more than half (51%) of all patients feel that a 90% reduction or no seizures at all would be a significant improvement, only 35 percent feel their doctor would agree.

"This suggests a gap in communication and a lack of mutual agreement on what the treatment goal should be," said Sandra R. Dewar, R.N., M.S, of the UCLA Seizure Disorder Center.

Social issues also are frequently le
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SOURCE American Epilepsy Society; Epilepsy Foundation
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