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Acta Neurol Scand ; 143(2): 206-209, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388169


BACKGROUND: Lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic became a challenge to maintain care for patients with epilepsy; we aimed to find out how the pandemic affected them. METHODS: We sent an online 22-item questionnaire to patients from our outpatient clinic, a reference centre in Spain for drug-resistant epilepsy, inquiring about the effects of lockdown, from March to May 2020. RESULTS: We sent the survey to 627 patients; 312 (58% women) sent a complete response and were included. Of all respondents, 57% took >2 antiseizure medications. One-third of respondents (29%) declared an associated cognitive or motor disability. A minority had confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 (1.92%). Seizure frequency remained like usual in 56% of patients, while 31.2% reported an increase. Less than 10% needed emergent assistance. Almost half reported anxiety or depression, and 25% increased behavioural disorders. Mood (F: 5.40; p: 0.002) and sleep disorders (F = 2.67; p: 0.05) were associated with increase in seizure frequency. Patients were able to contact their physicians when needed and were open to a future telematic approach to follow-up visits. CONCLUSIONS: Seizure frequency and severity remained unchanged in most patients during the lockdown. Mood and sleep disorders were common and associated with seizure worsening. Patients were open to telematic care in the future.

COVID-19 , Epilepsy/therapy , Pandemics , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use , Anxiety/complications , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cognition Disorders/complications , Communicable Disease Control , Depression/complications , Disabled Persons , Epilepsy/complications , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/complications , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Motor Disorders/complications , Outpatients , Seizures/epidemiology , Sleep Wake Disorders/classification , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine
Epilepsy Behav ; 113: 107530, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939369


The concept of patient navigation was first introduced in 1989 by the American Cancer Society and was first implemented in 1990 by Dr. Harold Freeman in Harlem, NY. The role of a patient navigator (PN) is to coordinate care between the care team, the patient, and their family while also providing social support. In the last 30 years, patient navigation in oncological care has expanded internationally and has been shown to significantly improve patient care experience, especially in the United States cancer care system. Like oncology care, patients who require epilepsy care face socioeconomic and healthcare system barriers and are at significant risk of morbidity and mortality if their care needs are not met. Although shortcomings in epilepsy care are longstanding, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues as both patients and providers have reported significant delays in care secondary to the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, preliminary studies had shown the potential efficacy of patient navigation in improving epilepsy care. Considering the evidence that such programs are helpful for severely disadvantaged cancer patients and in enhancing epilepsy care, we believe that professional societies should support and encourage PN programs for coordinated and comprehensive care for patients with epilepsy.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Patient Care/trends , Patient Navigation/trends , Epilepsy/therapy , Humans , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Patient Care/methods , Patient Navigation/methods , Social Support , United States/epidemiology