Opinion survey of health care providers towards psychogenic non epileptic seizures

Kinshuk Sahaya, Swapan A. Dholakia, David Lardizabal, Pradeep K. Sahota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objectives: Psychogenic non epileptic seizures (PNES) are challenging conditions to diagnose and manage. Previous workers have investigated the opinion of health care providers towards PNES; still several lacunae remain to be stressed. Amongst health care professionals, opinion of nurses has not been adequately explored. We attempted to identify areas which need more emphasis to provide optimal care to the patients. Patients and methods: We approached 417 health care providers (HCP; primary care, neurology and in-patient nurses) with a questionnaire regarding their opinion of PNES. Results: Total 115 respondents responded to our survey. We found one-thirds of respondent favoured "non-epileptic seizure" as the preferred diagnostic term. Although majority (61%) of responders felt that PNES were involuntary, 48% of nurses felt that PNES are 'fake' and patients have voluntary control over them. Neurologists and nurses expressed high level of confidence in managing patients of PNES. About 1/3rd (35%) of responders did not feel video EEG (vEEG) to be always required for the diagnosis of PNES. Only a minority (15%) of healthcare providers favor unrestricted driving by patients of PNES in setting of ongoing seizures. Conclusion: Our findings highlight areas where more emphasis needs to be placed regarding PNES amongst HCPs. More emphasis needs to be placed on the involuntary nature of these episodes within the HCP community. It might be necessary to more strongly address the education of nurses and residents for this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1304-1307
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Neurology
  • Non epileptic seizure
  • Nurses
  • Primary care
  • Psychogenic seizure


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