Patient family engagement and partnership: Pilot survey results in assessing behavior, communication, and quality of life in children with Lennox–Gastaut syndrome and other drug-resistant epilepsy

Nathan D. Bliss, Anup D. Patel, Tracy Dixon-Salazar, Lu Zhang, Melissa A. LoPresti, Maura Carroll, Marc Rosenman, Sandi Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Lennox–Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and other drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) can impact behavior, communication, and quality of life (QoL). In collaboration with community engagement efforts with the Lennox–Gastaut Syndrome Foundation (LGSF), we aimed to gain an initial snapshot of patient and family perspectives and experiences with evaluation of behavior, communication, and QoL. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted to collect self-reported information from caregivers of children with LGS and other DRE regarding their perspectives and experiences with healthcare providers' evaluation of behavior, communication, and QoL. The survey tool was developed by the study investigators in partnership with the LGS Foundation and had diffused to caregivers online by epilepsy advocacy groups including the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Alliance (PESA). Responses were analyzed. Descriptive statistics were calculated. The survey asked for caregiver perspectives and assessed which instruments the caregivers had previously been given for measuring these domains. Results: Responses from 245 caregivers were included, with 132 (54%) caregivers of an individual with LGS and 113 (46%) caregivers of an individual with non-LGS related DRE. Respondents reported that 66% of their loved ones had undergone epilepsy-related surgery. Over 90% agreed that measuring behavior, communication, and QoL was important, but fewer than half felt that their healthcare providers evaluated these domains well. LGS caregivers largely shared non-LGS caregivers' perspectives; however, they reported more frequently that communication was not evaluated enough. Barriers to measuring these domains included a lack of good surveys (developmentally appropriate and specific to the type of epilepsy) or not receiving any survey instruments for these domains during clinic appointments. Caregivers play a crucial role for individuals with DRE, and their input is essential in identifying challenges and needs. Caregivers believe that measuring behavior, communication, and quality of life is important, and most of them feel that their loved ones are not adequately evaluated during their healthcare encounters. There is a need for appropriately scaled survey instruments to measure areas of importance for patients and caregivers, as well as incorporation of these outcomes in the healthcare discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109451
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Volume148
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Drug-resistant
  • Epilepsy
  • Lennox–Gastaut Syndrome
  • Quality of Life
  • Refractory
  • Treatment-resistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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