Wordless intervention for people with epilepsy and learning disabilities (WIELD): A randomised controlled feasibility trial

Silvana Mengoni, Robert Gates, Georgina Parkes, David Wellsted, Garry Barton, Howard Ring, Mary Ellen Khoo, Deela Monji-Patel, Karin Friedli, Asif Zia, Marie-Anne Durand

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Objective To investigate the feasibility of a full-scale randomised controlled trial of a picture booklet to improve quality of life for people with epilepsy and learning disabilities.

Trial design A randomised controlled feasibility trial. Randomisation was not blinded and was conducted using a centralised secure database and a blocked 1:1 allocation ratio.

Setting Epilepsy clinics in 1 English National Health Service (NHS) Trust.

Participants Patients with learning disabilities and epilepsy who had: a seizure within the past 12 months, meaningful communication and a carer with sufficient proficiency in English.

Intervention Participants in the intervention group used a picture booklet with a trained researcher, and a carer present. These participants kept the booklet, and were asked to use it at least twice more over 20 weeks. The control group received treatment as usual, and were provided with a booklet at the end of the study.

Outcome measures 7 feasibility criteria were used relating to recruitment, data collection, attrition, potential effect on epilepsy-related quality of life (Epilepsy and Learning Disabilities Quality of Life Scale, ELDQOL) at 4-week, 12-week and 20-week follow-ups, feasibility of methodology, acceptability of the intervention and potential to calculate cost-effectiveness.

Outcome The recruitment rate of eligible patients was 34% and the target of 40 participants was reached. There was minimal missing data and attrition. An intention-to-treat analysis was performed; data from the outcome measures suggest a benefit from the intervention on the ELDQOL behaviour and mood subscales at 4 and 20 weeks follow-up. The booklet and study methods were positively received, and no adverse events were reported. There was a positive indication of the potential for a cost-effectiveness analysis.

Conclusions All feasibility criteria were fully or partially met, therefore confirming feasibility of a definitive trial.

Trial registration number ISRCTN80067039.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere012993
JournalBMJ Open
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016


  • epilepsy
  • psychology
  • learning disability
  • intellectual disability
  • intervention
  • self-management
  • feasibility studies


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