Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people with epilepsy: An interventional study using early physical consultation

Koh, May-Yi and Lim, Kheng-Seang and Fong, Si Lei and Khor, Si-Bao and Tan, Chong-Tin (2021) Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people with epilepsy: An interventional study using early physical consultation. Epilepsy & Behavior, 122. ISSN 1525-5050, DOI

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Background: Telehealth use is limited in developing countries. Therefore, a modified approach with early physical consultation was designed and applied in our hospital. This study aimed to determine the efficacy of this early physical consultation in reducing the clinical and psychological impacts of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), which enabled insight into its global feasibility. Method: Participants were contacted and offered early physical consultation with a neurologist. Patients who participated in the Phase 1 study on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with epilepsy and treated in our hospital were recruited. Clinical and psychological outcomes of COVID-19 were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) and Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory (QOLIE-31). Result: A total of 312 patients completed this study with a mean age of 39.13 +/- 16.13 years, majority female (51.0%), and experienced seizures at least once yearly (64.7%). There was 12.6% who experienced seizure worsening related to the COVID-19 pandemic. After receiving early clinical intervention, 30.8% achieved better seizure control with another 51.1% had no seizure occurrence. The mean HADS anxiety score improved immediately post-intervention (5.27 +/- 4.32 vs. 4.79 +/- 4.26, p < 0.01), and at 2-week post-intervention (5.58 +/- 4.46 vs. 4.73 +/- 3.95, p < 0.01). The mean HADS depression score also improved immediately post-intervention (4.12 +/- 3.69 vs. 3.84 +/- 3.76, p < 0.05) and at 2-week post-intervention (4.38 +/- 3.81 vs. 3.73 +/- 3.63, p < 0.05). The intervention resulted in significant improvement in energy fatigue and social function subscales in QOLIE-31 but a reduction in cognitive and medication effects sub scales. Conclusion: Early physical consultation with stringent precautionary measures is feasible and effective in improving the psychological outcome during COVID-19 pandemic. (c) 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya Faculty of Medicine Postgraduate Scheme, Impact Oriented Interdisciplinary Research Grant (IIRG) Programme (IIRG003A-2020HWB)
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19; Epilepsy; Anxiety; Depression; Accessibility to clinical service
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Medicine Department
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 01:51
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 01:51

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