PURPOSE: To determine the relationship between neurologist assessment of reactions to the diagnosis of PNESs and outcomes at 6-12 months and at 5-10 years.
METHODS: Two hundred thirty-eight patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) were recruited into a long-term follow-up study. At diagnosis and 6-12 months post diagnosis, doctors recorded their assessments of patient and caregiver reactions to the diagnosis of PNESs.
RESULTS: At baseline, 92/238 patients (38.7%) and 73/106 caregivers (68.9%) were assessed as having understood and accepted the diagnosis, while 6.7% of patients and 10.4% of caregivers reacted with anger. At 6-12 months, patient acceptance rose to 57.7%, with caregiver acceptance static at 70.8%. Attendance at follow-up was predicted by the presence of a caregiver at baseline: only one patient who came with a caregiver at baseline did not attend at 6-12 months (OR: 123.80, p < 0.001). Outcome at 6-12 months was predicted by patient acceptance at baseline (OR: 2.85, p = 0.006) and at 6-12 months (OR: 13.83, p < 0.001) and by caregiver acceptance at 6-12 months (OR: 10.77, p < 0.001). Presentation to primary or secondary care with attacks at 5-10 years was predicted by caregiver acceptance at 6-12 months (OR: 3.50, p = 0.007).
CONCLUSION: Patient understanding and acceptance of the diagnosis of PNESs are linked to outcome at 6-12 months. The beliefs of caregivers may be important for outcome in the longer term, particularly with respect to health-care use.
- Attitude to Health
- Follow-Up Studies
- Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology
- Psychophysiologic Disorders/diagnosis