Treatment with group psychotherapy for chronic psychogenic nonepileptic seizures
Metin, Sinem Zeynep
Yeni, Seher Naz
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Although there have been a number of psychotherapy trials for chronic psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, evidence-based treatment options are limited. We developed an eclectic group psychotherapy which combines psychoeducation and behavioral and psychoanalytic techniques. Nine patients completed 12 weeks of psychotherapy. Patients were interviewed with SCID-I. They also filled in the following measures at the beginning and end of the therapy: Beck Depression Inventory, Dissociative Experiences Scale, Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Scale, SF-36 Life Quality Scale, and Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Seizure frequency was assessed before and after the therapy and on follow-up visits at the fourth, sixth, ninth, and twelfth months. After one year of follow-up, the decrease in seizure frequency was highly significant (p<0.001). In addition, we observed significant improvements in the mental health subscale of the SF-36 (p=0.03) and the state (p=0.006) and trait (p=0.02) subscales of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Scale at the end of the therapy. These results suggest that group psychotherapy might be a treatment option for chronic psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.