Taking charge of epilepsy: The development of a structured psychoeducational group intervention for adolescents with epilepsy and their parents

Academic Article


  • Children and adolescents with epilepsy frequently experience poor psychosocial outcomes due to numerous factors such as perceived stigma, behavior problems, academic difficulties, and depression. Health psychology research has documented the effectiveness of psychoeducational interventions aimed at improving psychosocial outcomes for individuals with a variety of health conditions. With increasing numbers of adolescents living with epilepsy, interest in improving the quality of life for this particular population has grown. There remains, however, a paucity of research concerning psychosocial interventions for adolescents with epilepsy. The present study outlines the development and initial implementation of a 6-week structured psychoeducational group intervention for adolescents with epilepsy and their parents. Preintervention, the QOLIE-AD-48, Childhood Depression Inventory, and Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale were administered. Educational topics included medical aspects of epilepsy, healthy lifestyle behaviors, family and peer relationships, understanding self-image and self-esteem, and stress management techniques. Participants were introduced to a variety of cognitive-behavioral strategies, and were encouraged to share their own experiences with epilepsy. Feedback from adolescent and parent participants indicated that the intervention was relevant to their needs, helped them better understand their epilepsy, and allowed an opportunity for positive peer support. Also, postintervention outcome measurement indicated an overall positive trend for quality of life improvement in the adolescents. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Snead K; Ackerson J; Bailey K; Schmitt MM; Madan-Swain A; Martin RC
  • Start Page

  • 547
  • End Page

  • 556
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 4