Abstract, published in Seizure
Purpose: To compare paediatric epilepsy services with and without Epilepsy Specialist Nurse (ESN) provision on measures of carer satisfaction and accessibility of service.
Methods: In Study 1, carers in Northern England (n = 69 with an ESN, n = 27 without an ESN), completed the Parent Report of Psychosocial Care Scale to measure satisfaction with service provision. A measure of accessibility of service was also included. In Study 2, in depth semi-structured interviews with 58 carers (51 of whom had also participated in Study 1) were examined for talk related to accessibility of service.
Results: In Study 1, Satisfaction with service levels were high across all areas, (ESN areas Mdn = 9.04, IQR = 1.48, non-ESN areas Mdn = 8.29, IQR = 2.41; maximum score = 10), but with carers from ESN areas over 3 times more likely to endorse scores at the median or above relative to non-ESN areas (OR = 3.28). For accessibility, carers in ESN areas were over 5 times more likely to have a median score or higher (ESN areas Mdn = 10, IQR = 0.45, non-ESN areas Mdn = 8.4, IQR = 5, OR = 5.43). In study 2 a majority of all carers reported having made at least one attempt to contact services between appointments, for a wide range of reasons, with timely resolution reported in ESN areas, but more variable resolution occurring in non-ESN areas.
Conclusion: Paediatric epilepsy specialist nurses provide a critical and timely service to children with epilepsy and their carers.