Empirical evidence of underutilization of referrals for epilepsy surgery evaluation
2010 (English)In: European Journal of Neurology, ISSN 1351-5101, E-ISSN 1468-1331, Vol. 17, no 4, 619-625 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Epilepsy surgery is a treatment that can cure patients with intractable epilepsy. This study investigates whether referrals for epilepsy surgery evaluation are underutilized. Methods: Patients with epilepsy aged 18-60 years were identified in a computerized registry held by public health care providers in a Swedish county using ICD codes. Clinical data and data on referral status for epilepsy surgery were obtained from the patients' medical records. Potential candidates for epilepsy surgery evaluation were identified using pre-specified criteria. Obstacles for referral were analysed by comparing clinical data in patients who were considered for referral and those who were not. Appropriateness of non-referral was evaluated against recommendations from the Swedish Council on Technology in Health Care (SBU). Results: Of 378 patients with epilepsy in the registry, 251 agreed to participate. Of 251, 40 were already referred patients and 48 patients were identified as potential candidates for epilepsy surgery evaluation by study criteria. Referral had been considered but not performed in 15 of the potential candidates. Potential candidates not considered for referral were less likely to have seen a neurologist, to have had an EEG, CT and MRI, and more likely to have cognitive disturbances. Following the recommendations by the SBU, 28 of 48 potential candidates were identified as inappropriately not referred patients. Conclusion: The number of missed referrals for epilepsy surgery evaluation was estimated to be 60 per 100 000 inhabitants. Several important obstacles were found for not referring patients for epilepsy surgery evaluation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 17, no 4, 619-625 p.
epilepsy, epilepsy surgery, referral, underutilization
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Neurology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109714DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02891.xISI: 000275635800022PubMedID: 20039934OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-109714DiVA: diva2:858790