Self-management interventions for epilepsy in people with intellectual disabilities: A Scoping Review

Michelle Dannenberg, Silvana Mengoni, Robert Gates, Marie-Anne Durand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
188 Downloads (Pure)


People with intellectual disabilities (ID) experience higher incidences of chronic health conditions, poorer health outcomes, and increased risk of premature death. Epilepsy is 20 times more common in people with ID than in the general population. It tends to be more difficult to diagnose, more severe, and more difficult to treat. Improving epilepsy self-management in this group is advocated in guidelines for best practice. However, few self-management interventions exist, and a robust examination of their effectiveness is missing. Our aim was to identify existing self-management interventions for epilepsy in people with ID and to analyze their impact.

A scoping review using Arksey and O’Malley's framework was conducted. Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycInfo, OpenSIGLE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Web of Science were searched from inception until June 2015. Using a piloted charting tool, selected articles were thematically analyzed.

An initial search identified 570 articles, of which five met the inclusion criteria. Pilot and randomized controlled feasibility study findings suggest that self-management interventions targeted at people with ID are acceptable to this population, improve epilepsy-related knowledge, improve seizure frequency, and show potential to improve quality of life. A randomised controlled trial of a self-management intervention is currently underway.

Studies evaluating self-management interventions for people with epilepsy and ID are sparse. Our findings demonstrate the potential for self-management interventions to improve outcomes in this population. Controlled studies with comparable measures and longer follow-ups are needed to rigorously assess the impact of self-management interventions on this patient population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Early online date1 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • scoping review
  • epilepsy
  • intellectual abilities
  • self-management
  • intervention


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