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Psychological Intervention in Controlling Epilepsy among Children and Youths

Author(s): T. Seghatoleslam | Gh. A. Afrouz | K. Gharaguzlu | E. Hejazi

Journal: Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology
ISSN 1735-4315

Volume: 8;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 56;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: children | youths | epilepsy | cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) | biofeedback

AbstractObjectives: This research aimed at assessing the efficacy of psychological and non-medicinal treatments in controlling epilepsy of children and youths. Method: 30 boys, aged 9 to 24, with normal IQ, diagnosed with tonic-clonic epilepsy were selected as the subjects of the research. They had been under medicinal treatment for two years, but showed no adequate response. The subjects randomly were assigned to three groups. Group 1 received Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) in a group modality. Group 2 received biofeedback training. Group 3 (the control group) received no intervention or psychological treatment. Three dimensions of epileptic convulsion were studied: (a) severity of symptoms, (b) frequency of seizures, (c) a feeling of control over the tonic-clonic convulsive epileptic attacks, which were assessed through the Epilepsy Symptoms Scale (ESS). Findings: The findings demonstrated that CBT reduced the severity of symptoms and increased the feeling of control over epileptic attacks, but did not reduce their frequency. Biofeedback training did not significantly reduce the frequency of symptoms. The failure to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures might be due to several factors, such as medicinal treatment, and inaccuracy of the information provided to the therapist by the parents of the epileptic patients. Results: Psychological intervention is effective in the control of epileptic attack it calls for further research. 

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