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Transitional services for adolescents with epilepsy in the U.K.: a survey

Journal title
Seizure : the journal of the British Epilepsy Association
Publication year
Iyer, A.; Appleton, R.

PURPOSE: To survey the current transitional epilepsy services in tertiary paediatric neurology centres in the UK within the principles of transitional care for young people with epilepsy. METHODS: An online web-based questionnaire was sent to the lead epilepsy clinicians in tertiary paediatric neurology centres on behalf of the British Paediatric Epilepsy Group, the specialist epilepsy group of the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA). A transition clinic was defined as a ‘clinic or service that provided joint paediatric and adult supervision of care from paediatric to adult services’. RESULTS: Twenty-three centres were approached of which 18 responded and 15 of which provided auditable data. The clinics were held between three and 12 times per year, mostly in the afternoon and sited equally between the paediatric and adult centre. Approximately three to five new, and three to eight follow up patients were seen in each clinic. Most clinics accepted new referrals with a minimum age of 14 and a maximum of 20 years. Most young people were seen only once in a transition clinic before then being promoted into the adult epilepsy service. Very few clinics accepted direct referrals from the GP. Adult, slightly more than the paediatric team provided out-of-hospital advice after the young person was seen in the transition clinic. CONCLUSIONS: Young people with epilepsy are a challenging, but interesting group and their care at this time may have a potentially irreversible impact on their life. Their progress from paediatric to adult services should be a dynamic, gradual and smoothly transitioned process to optimise their care. Although recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the National Services Framework (NSF), the findings of this survey would suggest an un-met need of this population.

Research abstracts