The Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit at UCL



1 November 2018

Mental health Intervention in Children with Epilepsy

Epilepsy is the most common brain illness in young people and there are extremely high rates of co-existing depression, anxiety and disruptive behaviour. These mental health disorders impact significantly on quality of life so the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that the psychological needs of young people with epilepsy should always be considered. However, the mental health needs of young people with epilepsy are currently neglected with the majority of these common mental health disorders being untreated in this population with a significant negative impact on functioning and quality of life. Effective psychological treatments for mental health disorders in young people without epilepsy have been developed and this research ultimately aims to investigate whether they are also effective in those with epilepsy.

Our long term aim is to improve the treatment of mental health disorders in young people with epilepsy. This NIHR Programme Development Grant is for a one-year feasibility study recruiting 334 children to estimate key factors required to design a future randomised trial, in particular for both specialist and non-specialist sites it will assess:

  • recruitment rates
  • willingness of participants to be randomised
  • willingness of clinicians to recruit participants
  • time needed to obtain consent, collect and analyse data
  • completion rates for the measures
  • the nature of treatment as usual

Recruitment is complete and this study is being prepared for publication.