Preliminary findings of International Study highlights impact of pandemic on people with epilepsy.

During the summer, our colleagues in SUDEP Action and researchers from the University of Oxford conducted an international survey on the impact COVID-19 is having on people with epilepsy; their families; and their healtcare providers (in terms of delivering services for people with epilepsy). Dr Danny Costello (Cork) and Prof Norman Delanty (Beaumont) are Irish collaborators on this international study.

Preliminary findings from this survey have now been issued detailing the UK responses to the survey. However, we know that having continued to offer our support services throughout the pandemic, that many of these issued are presenting in Ireland as well. 

From 463 UK based respondents to the survey:

- 40% reported health changes during the pandemic
- 19% cited a change in seizures
- 34% noted having mental health difficulties 
- 26% noted having sleep disruption
 
These preliminary findings suggest that people with epilepsy are experiencing detrimental health changes which could be causing difficulties for them in managing their condition. 

The preliminary findings were recently published in leading medical journal, Epilepsy and Behaviour and you can read these in full HERE. 

This information will provide valuable insights for healtcare providers as we continue to learn to live with COVID-19.  The surveys are being conducted again to capture if/how experiences have changed since last summer. If you completed this survey in 2020, we invite you to repeat the survey. If you have not already taken the survey, please also consider taking part. Note that the surveys are anonymous and will take 10-20 minutes to complete.

Each response is vital in gathering information about how the COVID-19 is affecting people with epilepsy - be it directly or indirectly. There are three seperate surveys which we have listed below:

 

We look forward to hearing further findings from this vital research.

Our team at Epilepsy Ireland remain here for you with any support or advice you may need with your or a family member's epilepsy during these difficult times. For details of your local Community Resource Officer, click HERE.