Methodological demands on observational studies of outcomes after epilepsy surgery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The short-and long-term outcome of epilepsy surgery has been mostly assessed by observational studies because experimental designs in surgical patients are often unfeasible and have ethical implications. However, observational studies have methodological limitations, which include the retrospective design, the use of referral populations, the small sample size, the enrolment of patients at differing inception points, the use of differing inclusion criteria, differing defi nitions of prognostic predictors and outcome measures, the unmasked assessment of outcome, the short follow-up, the changing technologies and surgical procedures, and the inadequate statistical methods. These limitations are incorporated in systematic reviews of epilepsy surgery studies and cannot replace well-conducted prognostic studies. Key features of these studies should include representative populations at risk, welldefi ned inception cohorts, satisfactory and complete follow-up, prospective design, and standard defi nition of prognostic factors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLong-Term Outcomes of Epilepsy Surgery in Adults and Children
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783319177830, 9783319177823
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Design
  • Epilepsy
  • Methodology
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Psychology(all)

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