Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the priorities of patients with epilepsy and caring physicians and the correspondence between these priorities. Methods: In this multicenter cross-sectional study, patients with epilepsy attending 21 Italian epilepsy centers and their caring physicians filled anonymously questionnaires on the needs and priorities in the management of the disease. Included were questions on patients' demographics, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of epilepsy. The concordance between patients and their physicians was assessed on various aspects of the diagnosis and care of the disease. Patients' satisfaction with communication, services, and patient–doctor relationship was also assessed. Results: Included were 432 women and 355 men aged 15 to 88 years (median: 41 years). Disease duration ranged from 6 months to 75 years. A structural/metabolic etiology predominated (52.7%), followed by a (presumed) genetic etiology (33.0%). Seizure remission was present in 56.5% of cases. Comorbidities requiring chronic treatment were present in 27.5%, and comorbidities affecting self-sufficiency in 9.5%. Psychiatric comorbidity was present in 35.0%. Patients' priorities included discovery of the cause (89.1%), use of right drug (98.7%), use of a drug without chronic side effects (94.0%), and a life without restrictions (90.4%). Physicians' priorities included choice of right drug (83.5%) and use of drugs without chronic side effects (86.8%). Priorities varied with patients' age, sex, education, and occupation. Patient–doctor relationships were at least good in most cases. The information imparted was considered unsatisfactory by 21–44% of cases on seizure circumstances and complications, side effects of drugs, limitations of daily activities, and management of physiologic or pathologic conditions. Patients declared overall satisfaction, except for appointments (21.5%) and emergencies (30.8%). Conclusion: Patients and physicians' priorities in the management of epilepsy overlap only in part. Patients are satisfied with their caring physicians and less satisfied with communication and management of routine and emergency problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106641
Pages (from-to)106641
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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