Pilot project of psychological services integrated into a paediatric epilepsy clinic: Psychology Adding Value - Epilepsy Screening (PAVES)  

Richard Chin, Catriona George, Kirsten Verity, Ailsa McLellan, Jay Shetty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rationale
Children and young people with epilepsy (CYPwE) are particularly vulnerable to developing social, emotional, behavioural and learning difficulties, which, if not identified or addressed at an early stage, can impact adversely on quality of life and long-term psychosocial outcomes. This paper describes the development of a screening protocol and a pathway of early, ‘stepped’ intervention, which aims to address this issue, together with initial outcomes.
Methods
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was completed by CYPwE and their parents prior to routine epilepsy clinic appointments. A traffic light system was devised to indicate the reported level of concern and a potential route through the early intervention pathway.
Results
Of those CYPwE screened, 53% were found to be experiencing elevated levels of mental health difficulties, which had not previously been identified, and had the opportunity to access an appropriate early intervention. Initial feedback on the PAVES pathway has been positive, with high levels of feasibility and acceptability indicated by young people, parents and clinicians.
Conclusions
The PAVES approach enables mental health difficulties to be identified and appropriate intervention accessed at an early stage, potentially improving long-term psychosocial outcomes for CYPwE. In addition, if found to be effective in larger trials, PAVES has potential to be adapted and generalised to other populations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Early online date7 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • epilepsy
  • Children and young people
  • mental health
  • early intervention
  • screening

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