An accelerated shift in the use of remote systems in epilepsy due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Epilepsy and Behavior

M. Kuchenbuch, G. d'Onofrio, E. Wirrell, Y. Jiang, S. Dupont, Z.M. Grinspan, S. Auvin, J.M. Wilmshurst, A. Arzimanoglou, J.H. Cross, N. Specchio, R. Nabbout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to describe epileptologists' opinion on the increased use of remote systems implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic across clinics, education, and scientific meetings activities. Methods: Between April and May 2020, we conducted a cross-sectional, electronic survey on remote systems use before and during the COVID-19 pandemic through the European reference center for rare and complex epilepsies (EpiCARE) network, the International and the French Leagues Against Epilepsy, and the International and the French Child Neurology Associations. After descriptive statistical analysis, we compared the results of France, China, and Italy. Results: One hundred and seventy-two respondents from 35 countries completed the survey. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 63.4% had experienced remote systems for clinical care. During the pandemic, the use of remote clinics, either institutional or personal, significantly increased (p < 10−4). Eighty-three percent used remote systems with video, either institutional (75%) or personal (25%). During the pandemic, 84.6% of respondents involved in academic activities transformed their courses to online teaching. From February to July 2020, few scientific meetings relevant to epileptologists and routinely attended was adapted to virtual meeting (median: 1 [25th–75th percentile: 0–2]). Responders were quite satisfied with remote systems in all three activity domains. Interestingly, before the COVID-19 pandemic, remote systems were significantly more frequently used in China for clinical activity compared with France or Italy. This difference became less marked during the pandemic. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered how academic epileptologists carry out their core missions of clinical care, medical education, and scientific discovery and dissemination. Close attention to the impact of these changes is merited. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEpilepsy Behav.
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • E-health
  • E-learning
  • Remote work system
  • Teleconsultations
  • Telemedicine
  • Virtual meeting
  • adult
  • aged
  • Article
  • child
  • China
  • controlled study
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • cross-sectional study
  • e-learning
  • epilepsy
  • epileptologist
  • female
  • France
  • human
  • Italy
  • male
  • pandemic
  • teleconsultation
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Betacoronavirus
  • clinical practice
  • computer security
  • confidentiality
  • Coronavirus infection
  • education
  • Europe
  • health personnel attitude
  • middle aged
  • neurologist
  • neurology
  • North America
  • questionnaire
  • South America
  • virus pneumonia
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Computer Security
  • Confidentiality
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Distance
  • Epilepsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologists
  • Neurology
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Remote Consultation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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