The complexity of treatments for persons with epilepsy

Katherine A. Yeager, Colleen DiIorio, Patricia Osborne Shafer, Frances McCarty, Richard Letz, Thomas Henry, Donald L. Schomer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to describe the types of antiepileptic medication regimens and the types of actions required to take medications for a group of patients with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Medication and Treatment Complexity Index (EMTCI) was used to gather information about medications and treatments. The sample of 314 reported on 585 epilepsy medications. The majority (56%) were on more than one treatment. On average, an individual took 1.86 medications per day (range, 1-6) and 7.98 pills per day (range, 1-36 pills). Most medications (54%) were taken twice a day. The most common special instruction was taking different doses on the same day. Taking more than one tablet per dose was the most common administrative action. Data presented here raise interesting areas for further research as well as important clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-686
Number of pages8
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Grant R01-NR04770 from the National Institute of Nursing Research and, in part, by Grant M01-RR01032 from the National Institutes of Health to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center GCRC. We acknowledge members of the Project EASE study group: Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA: Charles M. Epstein M.D., Page Pennell M.D., Sandra Helmers, M.D., Sandra Clemons, R.N. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA: Francis W. Drislane, M.D., Steven C. Schachter, M.D., K.B. Krishnamurthy, M.D., Bernard Chang, M.D., Diane Sundstrom, R.N., B.S.N., Karyn Geary, R.N., N.P., Kristen Jordan R.N., B.S.N.


  • Adherence
  • Complexity
  • Drug therapy
  • Epilepsy
  • Self-management

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