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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.YEBEH.2021.107853

Underutilization of epilepsy surgery: Part II: Strategies to overcome barriers.

04 Mar 2021-Epilepsy & Behavior (Academic Press)-Vol. 117, pp 107853-107853
Abstract: Interventions focused on utilization of epilepsy surgery can be divided into groups: those that improve patients’ access to surgical evaluation and those that facilitate completion of the surgical evaluation and treatment. Educational intervention, technological innovation, and effective coordination and communication can significantly improve patients’ access to surgery. Patient and public facing, individualized (analog and/or digital) communication can raise awareness and acceptance of epilepsy surgery. Educational interventions aimed at providers may mitigate knowledge gaps using practical and concise consensus statements and guidelines, while specific training can improve awareness around implicit bias. Innovative technology, such as clinical decision-making toolkits within the electronic medical record (EMR), machine learning techniques, online decision-support tools, nomograms, and scoring algorithms can facilitate timely identification of appropriate candidates for epilepsy surgery with individualized guidance regarding referral appropriateness, postoperative seizure freedom rate, and risks of complication after surgery. There are specific strategies applicable for epilepsy centers’ success: building a multidisciplinary setup, maintaining/tracking volume and complexity of cases, collaborating with other centers, improving surgical outcome with reduced complications, utilizing advanced diagnostics tools, and considering minimally invasive surgical techniques. Established centers may use other strategies, such as multi-stage procedures for multifocal epilepsy, advanced functional mapping with tailored surgery for epilepsy involving the eloquent cortex, and generation of fresh hypotheses in cases of surgical failure. Finally, improved access to epilepsy surgery can be accomplished with policy changes (e.g., anti-discrimination policy, exemption in transportation cost, telehealth reimbursement policy, patient-centered epilepsy care models, pay-per-performance models, affordability and access to insurance, and increased funding for research). Every intervention should receive regular evaluation and feedback-driven modification to ensure appropriate utilization of epilepsy surgery.

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Topics: Epilepsy surgery (58%), Drug Resistant Epilepsy (54%), Telehealth (52%)
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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.YEBEH.2021.108199
Abstract: Objective The epilepsy surgery treatment gap is well defined and secondary to a broad range of issues, including healthcare professionals’ (HCPs’) knowledge, attitude, and perception (KAP) toward epilepsy surgery. However, no previous systematic reviews investigated this important topic. Methods The systematic review was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for the Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We identified a total of 652 articles from multiple databases using database-specific queries and included 65 articles for full-text review after screening the titles and abstracts of the articles. Finally, we selected 11 papers for qualitative analysis. We critically appraised the quality of the studies using the Joanna Briggs critical appraisal tool. Results The qualitative analysis of the content identified several key reasons causing healthcare professional-related barriers to epilepsy surgery: inadequate knowledge and awareness about the role of epilepsy surgery in drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), poor identification and referral of patients with DRE, insufficient selection of candidates for presurgical workup, negative or ambivalent attitudes and perceptions regarding epilepsy surgery, deficient communication practices with patients regarding risk–benefit analysis of epilepsy surgery, and challenging coordination issues with the surgical referral. Neurologists with formal instruction in epilepsy, surgical exposure during training, participation in high volume epilepsy practice, or prior experience in surgical referral may refer more patients for surgical evaluation. Conclusions While significant work has been conducted in a limited number of studies to explore HCPs’ knowledge gap and educational need regarding epilepsy surgery, further research is needed in defining the learning goals, assessing and validating specific learning gaps among providers, defining the learning outcomes, optimizing the educational format, content, and outcome measures, and appraising the achieved results following the educational intervention.

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Topics: Epilepsy surgery (59%), Systematic review (56%), Critical appraisal (55%) ... read more

2 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.PEDIATRNEUROL.2021.05.009
Debopam Samanta1, Sara J. Landes1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death globally. To challenge this enormous disease burden, scientists are pursuing innovative solutions to maintain and improve the quality of neurological care. Despite the availability of many effective evidence-based practices, many patients with neurological disorders cannot access these (or receive them inefficiently after a long delay) and may be exposed to unnecessary, expensive, and potentially harmful treatments. To promote the systematic uptake of evidence-based practices into the real world, a new scientific study of methods has been developed: implementation science. In implementation science research, transdisciplinary research teams systematically (using theory, model, and framework) assess local barriers to facilitate the adoption of evidence-based practices and examine potential solutions using implementation strategies (interventions that help adoption of intended practices) targeting multiple levels in the health care system, including patient, provider, clinic, facility, organization, or broader community and policy environment. The success of these strategies (implementation outcomes) is measured by the extent and quality of the implementation. Implementation studies can be either observational or interventional but are distinct from traditional efficacy or effectiveness studies. Traditional neuroscience research and clinical trials, conducted in controlled settings, focus on discovering new insights with little consideration of translating those insights into the everyday practice of a resource-constrained and dynamic health care system. Thus, neurologists should become familiar with implementation science to reduce the knowledge-practice gap, maximize health care value, and improve management of brain disorders affecting public health.

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Topics: Health care (58%), Comparative effectiveness research (53%), Psychological intervention (51%) ... read more

2 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.SEIZURE.2021.07.007
Vishal Mandge1, Daniel J. Correa2, John McGinley2, Alexis Boro2  +2 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: Background: This study evaluated the association between eligible patients not proceeding with resective epilepsy surgery and various demographic, disease-specific, and epilepsy-evaluation variables. Methods: This retrospective case-control study included patients identified as candidates for resective epilepsy surgery at the Montefiore Medical Center between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2017. Chi-squared, two-tailed, independent sample t-test, Mann-Whitney U test and logistic regression were utilized to identify variables associated with patients not proceeding with surgery. Results: Among the 159 potential surgical candidates reviewed over the 8.5-year study period, only 53 ultimately proceeded with surgery (33%). Eighty-seven (55%) out of these 159 patients were identified as appropriate for resective epilepsy surgery during the study period. Thirty-four (39%) of these 87 patients did not proceed with surgery. Variables independently correlated (either positively or negatively) with the patient not proceeding with surgery were: being employed [Odds Ratio (OR) 4.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12-15.73], temporal lobe lesion on MRI (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.14-0.84), temporal lobe EEG ictal onsets (OR 0.21, 95% CI 0.07-0.62), and temporal lobe epileptogenic zone (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.07-0.55). Conclusion: The novel finding in this study is the association between employment status and whether the patient had epilepsy surgery: employed patients were 4.2 times more likely to not proceed with surgery compared to unemployed patients. In addition, patients with a temporal lobe lesion on MRI, temporal lobe EEG ictal onsets, and/or a temporal epileptogenic zone were more likely to proceed with surgery. Future work will be needed to evaluate these findings prospectively, determine if they generalize to other patient populations, explore the decision whether or not to proceed with epilepsy surgery from a patient-centered perspective, and suggest strategies to reduce barriers to this underutilized treatment.

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Topics: Epilepsy surgery (67%), Epilepsy (52%), Temporal lobe (51%)


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.YEBEH.2021.108263
Abstract: Objective In selected children with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE), epilepsy surgery is the most effective treatment option, but unfortunately remains highly underutilized. One of the critical obstacles to pursuing surgical therapy is parents/caregivers’ decision against surgery or to delay the surgery until no other treatment option exists. Understanding caregiver decision-making around epilepsy surgery can improve patient/caregiver experience and satisfaction while facilitating appropriate decision-making that optimizes clinical outcomes. The current review systematically explores the existing evidence on caregiver experience and the decision-making process toward epilepsy surgery. Methods The study was conducted as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines for systematic literature review. Databases (PubMed Ovid, PubMed Medline, Web of Science, CINHAL, PsycInfo) were systematically searched in February 2021 using a defined search strategy and inclusion/exclusion criteria. Total 1304 articles were screened for titles and abstracts, and 54 full-text articles were retrieved for further assessment. We included 14 articles with critical quality assessment using two different tools for qualitative and questionnaire-based studies. A qualitative content analysis was performed to characterize caregiver experience, perception, and decision-making toward favorable or unfavorable opinions of epilepsy surgery. Results Four concepts generated from the analysis may act as enablers or barriers to decision-making around epilepsy surgery: 1. Access to knowledge and information, 2. Communication and coordination issues, 3. Caregiver's emotional state, and 4. Socioeconomic effects. Subsequently, we provided a narrative synthesis of practice recommendations and a conceptual framework to adopt multi-pronged interventions to overcome identified diverse barriers to effective caregiver decision-making. Conclusion Multiple influences impact how caregivers decide about epilepsy surgery for their children, with no single factor identified as the primary driver for or against surgery. However, limited research has explored these influences. Future studies should focus on quantitatively examining factors to identify significant variables most likely to influence caregiver decision-making, ultimately overcoming barriers that limit utilization of epilepsy surgery as a treatment tool.

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Topics: Systematic review (56%), Epilepsy surgery (55%)

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110 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJM200108023450501
Abstract: Background Randomized trials of surgery for epilepsy have not been conducted, because of the difficulties involved in designing and implementing feasible studies. The lack of data supporting the therapeutic usefulness of surgery precludes making strong recommendations for patients with epilepsy. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of surgery for temporal-lobe epilepsy. Methods Eighty patients with temporal-lobe epilepsy were randomly assigned to surgery (40 patients) or treatment with antiepileptic drugs for one year (40 patients). Optimal medical therapy and primary outcomes were assessed by epileptologists who were unaware of the patients' treatment assignments. The primary outcome was freedom from seizures that impair awareness of self and surroundings. Secondary outcomes were the frequency and severity of seizures, the quality of life, disability, and death. Results At one year, the cumulative proportion of patients who were free of seizures impairing awarenes...

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Topics: Epilepsy surgery (67%), Engel classification (65%), Epilepsy (63%) ... read more

2,648 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1001/JAMA.2012.220
07 Mar 2012-JAMA
Abstract: Context Despite reported success, surgery for pharmacoresistant seizures is often seen as a last resort. Patients are typically referred for surgery after 20 years of seizures, often too late to avoid significant disability and premature death. Objective We sought to determine whether surgery soon after failure of 2 antiepileptic drug (AED) trials is superior to continued medical management in controlling seizures and improving quality of life (QOL). Design, Setting, and Participants The Early Randomized Surgical Epilepsy Trial (ERSET) is a multicenter, controlled, parallel-group clinical trial performed at 16 US epilepsy surgery centers. The 38 participants (18 men and 20 women; aged ≥12 years) had mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) and disabling seizues for no more than 2 consecutive years following adequate trials of 2 brand-name AEDs. Eligibility for anteromesial temporal resection (AMTR) was based on a standardized presurgical evaluation protocol. Participants were randomized to continued AED treatment or AMTR 2003-2007, and observed for 2 years. Planned enrollment was 200, but the trial was halted prematurely due to slow accrual. Intervention Receipt of continued AED treatment (n = 23) or a standardized AMTR plus AED treatment (n = 15). In the medical group, 7 participants underwent AMTR prior to the end of follow-up and 1 participant in the surgical group never received surgery. Main Outcome Measures The primary outcome variable was freedom from disabling seizures during year 2 of follow-up. Secondary outcome variables were health-related QOL (measured primarily by the 2-year change in the Quality of Life in Epilepsy 89 [QOLIE-89] overall T-score), cognitive function, and social adaptation. Results Zero of 23 participants in the medical group and 11 of 15 in the surgical group were seizure free during year 2 of follow-up (odds ratio = ∞; 95% CI, 11.8 to ∞; P Conclusions Among patients with newly intractable disabling MTLE, resective surgery plus AED treatment resulted in a lower probability of seizures during year 2 of follow-up than continued AED treatment alone. Given the premature termination of the trial, the results should be interpreted with appropriate caution. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00040326

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Topics: Epilepsy surgery (58%), Epilepsy (57%), Randomized controlled trial (56%) ... read more

759 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1212/01.WNL.0000055086.35806.2D
25 Feb 2003-Neurology
Abstract: Objectives/Methods: To examine evidence for effectiveness of anteromesial temporal lobe and localized neocor- tical resections for disabling complex partial seizures by systematic review and analysis of the literature since 1990. Results: One intention-to-treat Class I randomized, controlled trial of surgery for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy found that 58% of patients randomized to be evaluated for surgical therapy (64% of those who received surgery) were free of disabling seizures and 10 to 15% were unimproved at the end of 1 year, compared with 8% free of disabling seizures in the group randomized to continued medical therapy. There was a significant improvement in quantitative quality-of-life scores and a trend toward better social function at the end of 1 year for patients in the surgical group, no surgical mortality, and infrequent morbidity. Twenty-four Class IV series of temporal lobe resections yielded essentially identical results. There are similar Class IV results for localized neocortical resections; no Class I or II studies are available. Conclusions: A single Class I study and 24 Class IV studies indicate that the benefits of anteromesial temporal lobe resection for disabling complex partial seizures is greater than continued treatment with antiepileptic drugs, and the risks are at least compara- ble. For patients who are compromised by such seizures, referral to an epilepsy surgery center should be strongly considered. Further studies are needed to determine if neocortical seizures benefit from surgery, and whether early surgical intervention should be the treatment of choice for certain surgically remediable epileptic syndromes.

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Topics: Epilepsy surgery (66%), Epilepsy (61%), Temporal lobe (52%)

734 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S11606-013-2441-1
Abstract: Although the medical profession strives for equal treatment of all patients, disparities in health care are prevalent Cultural stereotypes may not be consciously endorsed, but their mere existence influences how information about an individual is processed and leads to unintended biases in decision-making, so called “implicit bias” All of society is susceptible to these biases, including physicians Research suggests that implicit bias may contribute to health care disparities by shaping physician behavior and producing differences in medical treatment along the lines of race, ethnicity, gender or other characteristics We review the origins of implicit bias, cite research documenting the existence of implicit bias among physicians, and describe studies that demonstrate implicit bias in clinical decision-making We then present the bias-reducing strategies of consciously taking patients’ perspectives and intentionally focusing on individual patients’ information apart from their social group We conclude that the contribution of implicit bias to health care disparities could decrease if all physicians acknowledged their susceptibility to it, and deliberately practiced perspective-taking and individuation when providing patient care We further conclude that increasing the number of African American/Black physicians could reduce the impact of implicit bias on health care disparities because they exhibit significantly less implicit race bias

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Topics: Health equity (55%), Health care (55%)

604 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.YEBEH.2012.06.016
Abstract: Approximately 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lives. Although epilepsy is one of the nation's most common neurological disorders, public understanding is limited. A complex spectrum of disorders, epilepsy affects an estimated 2.2 million people in the United States. Living with epilepsy is about more than just seizures; it is often defined in practical terms, such as challenges, uncertainties, and limitations in school, social situations, employment, driving, and independent living. People with epilepsy are also faced with health and community services that are fragmented, uncoordinated, and difficult to obtain. The Institute of Medicine's report (2012) [1], Epilepsy across the spectrum: promoting health and understanding, examines the public health dimensions of epilepsy with a focus on (a) public health surveillance and data collection and integration; (b) population and public health research; (c) health policy, health care, and human services; and (d) education for providers, people with epilepsy and their families, and the public. The report's recommendations range from the expansion of collaborative epilepsy surveillance efforts to the independent accreditation of epilepsy centers, to the coordination of public awareness efforts, and to the engagement of people with epilepsy and their families in education, dissemination, and advocacy activities. Given the current gaps in epilepsy knowledge, care, and education, there is an urgent need to take action-across multiple dimensions-to improve the lives of people with epilepsy and their families. The realistic, feasible, and action-oriented recommendations in this report can help enable short- and long-term improvements for people with epilepsy.

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Topics: Health care (56%), Public health (56%), Health policy (55%) ... read more

492 Citations