Evidence-based Epilepsy Care
The goal of this article is to assist nurses to provide better care to patients with epilepsy using evidence-based practices.
Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the central nervous system, affecting 65 million people worldwide—3.4 million in the United States. It can occur with or without a known cause (60% of cases have no known cause) and is diagnosed when seizures are spontaneous and recurrent (two or more unprovoked seizures). One of the fastest-growing populations developing epilepsy is veterans who sustained complicated traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) as a result of exposure to explosive blasts and post-traumatic stress disorder. Automobile accidents and falls also contribute to TBI with secondary epilepsy.
Patients with epilepsy may have a specific seizure or seizure types depending on their epilepsy syndrome/diagnosis. The goal of this article is to assist nurses to provide better care to patients with epilepsy using evidence-based practices.
Key Learning Outcomes
- State comorbidities associated with epilepsy.
- Describe the evaluation of the patient with a seizure.
- Discuss the pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment of epilepsy.
Gigi Smith, PhD, RN, PNP, FAES
Gigi Smith is executive associate dean for academics and a professor at Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing in Charleston, South Carolina.
Madona Plueger, ACNS-BC, APRN, CNRN, FAES
Madona Plueger is an adult health clinical nurse specialist in neuroscience nursing at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.
Janelle L. Wagner, PhD
Janelle L. Wagner is a research associate professor at Medical University
of South Carolina College of Nursing.