Quality of care of epilepsy in Italy: A multi-hospital survey of diagnosis and treatment of 1104 epileptic patients

E. Beghi, F. Sasanelli, A. Spagnoli, G. Tognoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We surveyed the treatment of 1104 patients admitted to 27 out of the 46 departments of neurology (64.5%), neurosurgery (23.0%), and child neurology (12.5%) of Lombardy, the largest Italian Region (population, 9,000,000). Our main aim was to assess the penetration of correct diagnostic and clinicopharmacological information into routine practice. A detailed analysis and discussion are given of data concerning reasons for hospital admission (therapeutic adjustment accounting for 27.3%; diagnostic ascertainment, 53.8%); characteristics of the disease, in terms of duration, clinical manifestations, and pattern of seizures; associated disorders; prevalence and criteria for the use of instrumental diagnostic procedures (EEG, brain scan, computed tomography, etc.); pattern of prescriptions of anticonvulsant drugs at admission and at discharge, with particular emphasis on specific drug choices by specialty; prevalence of single-drug therapy (41% at admission and 47.0% at discharge) versus polytherapy; degree of correspondence between recommended and observed dosage regimens (undertreatment being a more common problem than excessive dosing); and reporting of side effects. Although some of the findings of some recent studies are confirmed, this report documents the feasibility of a regular audit program of the performance of an entire health care system in the treatment of epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalEpilepsia
Volume23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1982

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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