A randomised controlled feasibility trial of the Book Beyond Words intervention to improve the management of epilepsy in people with learning disability (The Wield study)

Project: Research

Project Details


Funder: NIHR RfPB
Sponsor: Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
ISRCTN: 80067039

Layman's description

Epilepsy is the most common neurological problem affecting people with learning disabilities. It is more complex, more severe, and leads to more deaths in people with learning disabilities than in the general population who live with epilepsy. People with epilepsy and learning disabilities find it difficult to manage their illness. They do not have easy access to services and struggle to manage repeated seizures. They are often resistant to treatment, which can lead to premature deaths and increased costs. The guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommend that patients with learning disabilities and epilepsy are offered the same standard of care, services and investigations as the general population.

The Books Beyond Words booklet for epilepsy uses images to help people with learning disabilities better understand and manage their condition and improve their quality of life. This intervention has never been formally evaluated and its effectiveness remains unknown. Given the lack of research in this area, it is recommended that this intervention is evaluated in a feasibility trial. This will determine whether a full-scale trial can be undertaken and what sample size, design and methods are most appropriate. The acceptability, potential effectiveness and cost effectiveness of using the booklet for epilepsy will also be explored. Eligible patients with epilepsy and learning disabilities will be randomised to receive either the Books Beyond Words booklet for epilepsy or routine information and care. In the intervention group, the booklet will be used at the Epilepsy Clinic with a Research Nurse or or Clinical Studies Officer and Carer, and later at home with the carer or family. Outcomes will be measured at 1, 3 and 5 months. Semi-structured interviews will also be used to assess feasibility and acceptability.
Effective start/end date1/03/1431/10/15


  • NIHR - National Institute for Health and Research: £200,999.00


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