Level of empowerment and decision-making style of women with epilepsy in childbirth age
Canevini, Maria Paola
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AbstractObjectives This research investigates level of empowerment, decisional skills, and the perceived relationship with the clinician, of women in childbirth age, also in relationship with clinical variables such as epilepsy type, seizure frequency, therapy, and pregnancy status. In particular, as concerning therapy, we were interested in women who take valproic acid (VPA), for its specific balance of risks and benefits, especially in pregnant women. Methods The sample is composed of 60 women with epilepsy (6 were excluded), who underwent a standardized clinical protocol for assessment of level of empowerment, decisional skills, and of their judgment about how they feel to be involved by their clinician in medical decision making. Results Overall, the sample does not show signs of low empowerment level nor of abnormal decision-making patterns. The type of epilepsy, the frequency of seizures, and the treatment type (VPA versus no VPA) do not impact on empowerment, on decision styles, nor on medical relationship, with the only exception of a specific decision style, the avoidant style, that is more frequent in women treated with VPA with respect to those taking other therapies. Interestingly, regarding VPA dosage, we found that women taking equal or more than 700 mg/day of VPA have lower scores on empowerment in all dimensions compared with women with a VPA dosage lower than 700 mg/day. Conclusions Shared decision making including improved decision quality, more informed choices and better treatment concordance, should be a central part of epilepsy care. In addition, for clinicians it would be useful to have specific tools to know if the patient has really understood the risks and benefits of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), particularly VPA, and all treatment alternatives.
CitationTurner, K., Cutica, I., Riva, S., Zambrelli, E., Canevini, M. P. and Pravettoni, G. (2019) Level of empowerment and decision-making style of women with epilepsy in childbirth age, Epilepsy & Behavior, 93, pp. 32-37.
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
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