The epilepsy medication and treatment complexity index: reliability and validity testing.

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Medications are the most common treatment for epilepsy. Regimens vary from once per day dosing to several pills several times per day. More complex regimens have been associated with lower adherence rates. To date, medication complexity has been measured by the number of pills and the number of times per day the pills are taken. However, complexity also includes special instructions (e.g., take at a separate time than other medications) and the specific administration actions (e.g., take 1/2 pill). This article describes the development of an instrument designed to measure the complexity associated with epilepsy treatment regimens. The medication complexity tool (MCI) was modified to create the Epilepsy Medication and Treatment Complexity Index (EMTCI). The EMTCI comprises four sections: (a) general medication information, (b) frequency of administration, (c) special instructions, and (d) administration actions. Points are given for dosing schedules, special instructions, and administration actions. A total complexity score is calculated by adding points for each section. One form is completed for each medication prescribed for each person. The initial development of the EMTCI included revising the MCI to make it applicable to epilepsy medication. Interrater and intrarater reliability assessments were conducted. The EMTCI was administered to adults with epilepsy as part of a larger study of self-management in people with epilepsy. Data from that study were used for further assessments of the EMTCI including test-retest reliability, criterion validity, and construct validity. The EMTCI shows evidence of both reliability and validity. Information from the tool can be used to describe the medication complexity of epilepsy medication regimens in much greater detail than has been done previously for this population. This information is useful in describing the treatment and adherence issues for persons with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience nursing : journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003


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