In an externally-funded grant, CURE PTE Initiative investigators Dr. Jeffrey Loeb, Dr. Dilip Pandey, and Research Associate Jessica Levy investigate the ways technology can improve outcomes in individuals living with epilepsy
Purpose: People with epilepsy (PWE) come from a wide variety of social backgrounds and educational skillsets, making self-management (SM) education for improving their condition challenging. Here, we evaluated whether a mobile technology-based personalized epilepsy SM education intervention, PAUSE to Learn Your Epilepsy (PAUSE), improves SM measures such as self-efficacy, epilepsy SM behaviors, epilepsy outcome expectations, quality of life (QoL), and personal impact of epilepsy in adults with epilepsy.
Methods: Recruitment for the PAUSE study occurred from October 2015 to March 2019. Ninety-one PWE were educated using an Internet-enabled computer tablet application that downloads custom, patient-specific educational programs from Epilepsy.com. Validated self-reported questionnaires were used for outcome measures. Participants were assessed at baseline (T0), the first follow-up at completion of the PWE-paced 8–12-week SM education intervention (T1), and the second follow-up at least 3 months after the first follow-up (T2).
Results: The study population was diverse and included individuals with a wide variety of SM educational needs and abilities. The median time for the first follow-up assessment (T1) was approximately 4 months following the baseline (T0) and 8 months following baseline for the second follow-up assessment (T2). Participants showed significant improvement in all SM behaviors, self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, QOL, and personal impact of epilepsy measures from T0 to T1. Participants who scored lower at baseline tended to show greater improvement at T1. Similarly, results showed that participant improvement was sustained in most SM measures from T1 to T2.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that a mobile technology-based personalized SM intervention is feasible to implement. The results provide evidence that epilepsy SM behavior and practices, QoL, outcome expectation for epilepsy treatment and management, self-efficacy, and outcome expectation and impact of epilepsy significantly improve following a personalized SM education intervention. This underscores a greater need for a pragmatic trial to test the effectiveness of personalized SM education, such as PAUSE to Learn Your Epilepsy, in broader settings specifically for the unique needs of the hard-to-reach and hard-to-treat population of PWE.