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Usual care for mental health problems in children with epilepsy: A cohort study

Welch, A; Shafran, R; Heyman, I; Coughtrey, A; Bennett, S; (2018) Usual care for mental health problems in children with epilepsy: A cohort study. F1000Research , 7 , Article 1907. 10.12688/f1000research.15492.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic paediatric conditions. Children and young people with epilepsy are at a significantly higher risk of developing mental health problems relative to the general population, yet the majority of these problems are unrecognised and under-treated in clinical practice. Although there is little epilepsy-specific guidance as to what interventions to use, researchers suggest there is no reason why clinicians should not be using the evidence base. Given the poor prognosis of untreated mental health difficulties, this cohort study sought to identify what psychological treatment young people with epilepsy with mental health needs receive in routine practice. // Methods: Participants were children and young people aged 3 to 18 attending paediatric neurology clinics. The parents of those children who met threshold for impairing symptoms on the Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire were asked to complete the Development and Well-being Assessment (DAWBA), an online clinical assessment designed to generate psychiatric diagnoses. Participants who met clinical threshold for a disorder according to the DAWBA were provided with a bespoke measure asking questions regarding their experience with treatment for mental health support. // Results: 16 of the 46 parents who completed the DAWBA reported that they had experienced previous or current support for their child’s mental health difficulties. The mental health support offered to families was highly variable, inadequate and often not clearly compliant with existing UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for mental health treatment in children and young people. // Conclusions: The present study demonstrates the inconsistency and inadequacy of mental health provision for children and young people with epilepsy. Future work should explore reasons for the treatments offered failing to adhere to existing guidance for mental health difficulties in children, as well as possible solutions to this.

Type: Article
Title: Usual care for mental health problems in children with epilepsy: A cohort study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.15492.1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.15492.1
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Welch A et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Epilepsy, Mental health, CAMHS, Paediatric
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070480
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