Background In 2013, Child Health Reviews-UK recommended the introduction of epilepsy passports to improve communication and reduce morbidity and mortality associated with epilepsy. Since their introduction by the RCPCH in September 2015, epilepsy passports have yet to be evaluated.
Aims 1) To assess the need for epilepsy passports
2) to evaluate staff and parents’ views on the usage and usefulness of the passports
Methods Patients with an existing diagnosis of epilepsy attending a busy district general hospital in 2016 were offered passports and inclusion in the study. Staff and parents’ experience was assessed between January to April 2016 using questionnaires. All parents whose children had been newly given an epilepsy passport during the study period were asked for their opinion.
Results 121 attendances for epileptic seizures in children under 16 were recorded in 2015 with 22 children attending more than once and 1 child visiting 8 times. Only half the attendances resulted in admission indicating a need for education on managing short epileptic seizures at home.
13 A and E staff members completed the questionnaire. All found epilepsy passports useful, particularly in cases with a language barrier or previous adverse drug reaction.
11 parents were recruited for the study whose child did not previously have an epilepsy passport. All wanted a passport and thought it would help communication between themselves and healthcare professionals. English was not the first language for one family who felt it would be useful to communicate drug dosages and information on their child’s other diagnoses. 9 parents completed the follow-up questionnaire, 3 of which used their passport during the study period. The 3 that used them found them useful to communicate with the paramedics and doctors attending to their child, the other 6 stated they felt more confident just having the passport.
Conclusion These findings have implications for practice, as all hospitals should be aware of the reassurance and help epilepsy passports can bring. A longer, more quantitative study should be carried out to assess whether the passports are actually reducing A and E attendances, or time spent in A and E, as well as increasing parents’ confidence in their children’s care.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.