To help people who have epilepsy and a lot of seizures, we tested a group course called Self-Management education for adults with poorly controlled epILEpsy or SMILE (UK).
The study had 404 people with epilepsy. People were asked questions about their general well-being (‘quality of life’), health, whether or not they felt worried or depressed, and how epilepsy had an impact on their lives. The study also aimed to find out what people thought about the course and whether or not
it could lower the costs of epilepsy care.
The results showed that people who were less happy with their general well-being may also feel depressed and worried, feel that others treat them differently and feel less able to control their epilepsy. They may not take their medicine as they should and they may have other health problems or a lot of seizures. At the end of the study, general well-being was the same between the people who took the course and those who did not. The course was not found to save costs for epilepsy treatment, but people said that learning in a group helped them feel less alone and let them open up to discuss feelings. They were also more confident, which improved their outlook and coping with epilepsy. However, some said that they had trouble recalling parts of the course because of memory problems.
The study testing SMILE (UK) for people with epilepsy in groups did not find any difference in general well-being in people 1 year after attending the course. But the course gave people the chance to learn from experts and, by talking with others, they felt less alone and more confident.