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Zaroff, Charles M; Myers, Lorna; Barr, William B; Luciano, Daniel; Devinsky, Orrin
"Group psychoeducation as treatment for psychological nonepileptic seizures"
Epilepsy & behavior 2004 Sep; 5(4):587-592
There is no consensus for the type(s) of treatment(s) that may be effective or ineffective for psychological nonepileptic seizures (PNES). We provided an open-ended group psychotherapy program to 10 patients with PNES, including a disorder-specific psychoeducation treatment component in the first 10 weeks. Seizure frequency and questionnaire responses were examined pre- and posttreatment in all 7 of 10 individuals who completed the majority of the psychoeducational sessions. Four individuals experienced no change in seizure frequency; in three of these this was due to a cessation of events at treatment initiation. Two individuals experienced a decline; and one, an increase, in seizure frequency. Significant decreases were reported in posttraumatic (P=0.003) and dissociative (P=0.04) symptoms and emotionally based coping mechanisms (P=0.03). There was also a trend toward improved quality of life (P=0.07). Experience/expression of anger remained stable. Psychoeducation may be an effective method of treating PNES and may improve coping strategies and reduce PNES-associated psychopathology in some patients. Additional controlled studies on larger samples are needed

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