Why it matters?
People with epilepsy are at high risk of mental health symptoms compared to the general population and to those with other chronic conditions. This can stem from various factors including disease variables such as seizures and side effects of antiepileptic medication. However epilepsy is more than seizures, other factors including stigma, neurodevelopmental co-occurrences and social support are also shown to increase vulnerability to mental health problems. Unfortunately, diagnostic overshadowing can lead to lack of consideration of mental health care in epilepsy management. Current NICE guidelines in epilepsy management, emphasise the need to integrate mental healthcare and physical healthcare, which can ultimately encourage the development of interventions for people with epilepsy.
What are we doing
Integrating Mental & Physical healthcare: Research, Training & Services (IMPARTS) is an initiative which currently exists in various physical health services across King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Patients attending clinics are required to complete a survey asking a series of questions on smoking, depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as other questions tailored to people with epilepsy e.g sleep, seizure frequency and quality of life. The results from this survey are then populated to patients electronic health records. Clinicians can then use this information to guide consultation and treatment management, by referring patients to appropriate services. We aim to initially adopt this approach in adult epilepsy clinics to test feasibility and acceptability. Subsequently we will then co-develop with young people with epilepsy and their carers a bespoke IMPARTS tool to pilot within services.
When will this study be recruiting?
The first step to implementing IMPARTS is to gather information on outcomes and health care needs through recruiting participants with an epilepsy diagnosis to focus groups. In most cases you will need to be a patient at a hospital in Kings College London NHS Foundation Trust. Please contact the research associate if you’re interested in taking part in the focus group
What will participants be asked to do?
Participants will be expected to complete the online survey before the focus group, which can take up to 20 minutes to complete. The focus group will then be conducted online and should last between 60 to 90 minutes. Questions will be based on the experience of living with epilepsy and opinions on outcomes measures in clinical practice.
Who can take part?
Anyone between aged 13-25 with an epilepsy diagnosis, can also be parents/carers of an individual.
Who is conducting the research?
Professors Mark Richardson and Deb Pal at Kings College London are the chief investigators of this study.
Who has reviewed this study?
This study is supported by the Maudsley Charity and has been reviewed by NHS Research Ethics Committee (NRES Ref: 12/SC/0422).
If you would like to find out more about this study, please contact Ms Alice Winsor (firstname.lastname@example.org).