Conversations between community-based neurologists and patients with epilepsy: Results of an observational linguistic study

Frank Gilliam, Patricia E. Penovich, Corey A. Eagan, John M. Stern, David M. Labiner, Meaghan Onofrey, Gregory L. Holmes, Eileen Mathis, Joyce Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

An in-office linguistic study was conducted to assess neurologist-patient discussions of epilepsy. Naturally occurring interactions among 20 neurologists and 60 of their patients with epilepsy were recorded. Participants were interviewed separately postvisit. Transcripts were analyzed using sociolinguistic techniques. Of 59 patients taking antiepileptic drugs previsit, 44 (75%) discussed side effects with their neurologist. Side effect discussions were most often neurologist initiated. Postvisit, patients and neurologists often disagreed about which side effects were experienced. The presence of a caregiver (e.g., spouse) usually resulted in lengthier, more detailed discussions of side effects, without drastically increasing overall visit length. Discussions of mood- and behavior-related comorbidities occurred infrequently (14 of 60 visits); postvisit, neurologists stated that they felt that management of these conditions was outside their area of expertise. Communication gaps observed in discussions of epilepsy and its treatment warrant further exploration. Additional research is currently underway to assess the efficacy of a previsit assessment tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Communication
  • Comorbidities
  • Dialogue
  • Epilepsy
  • Linguistics
  • Misalignment
  • Mood
  • Side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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  • Cite this

    Gilliam, F., Penovich, P. E., Eagan, C. A., Stern, J. M., Labiner, D. M., Onofrey, M., Holmes, G. L., Mathis, E., & Cramer, J. (2009). Conversations between community-based neurologists and patients with epilepsy: Results of an observational linguistic study. Epilepsy and Behavior, 16(2), 315-320. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2009.07.039