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Epilepsy across the spectrum: Promoting health and understanding

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Title: Epilepsy across the spectrum: Promoting health and understanding

Author: IOM (Institute of Medicine)

Publisher: The National Academies Press, 2012

Reviewer: Joanne Thompson, critical are umanager, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

What was it like?

This is a report commissioned by the Institute of Medicine to investigate various aspects of service provision for the epilepsies in the US. It introduces epilepsy and epidemiology before progressing to surveillance and data collection.  A global view is cast, examining specialist nurses in the UK, and international initiatives for delivering care to rural/underserved locations.


What were the highlights? 

As it is reported that 1:26 people in the US will develop epilepsy at some point in their life, the report examined surveillance efforts, prevention programmes, access to patient-centred care and best practice guidelines from across the globe. Discussion of these points leads on to thirteen recommendations for improving service provision in the US.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book aims to describe a vision for achieving a better understanding of the public health dimensions of the epilepsies. It is evident that exhaustive analysis of service provision has gone into this report. However, do not mistake this book (as I did) for one providing information specifically about epilepsy as a condition, its impact upon the patient and their family and how to live with it.

Who should read it?

Healthcare providers involved in the provision of epilepsy care may find this report useful as a comparison to identify problems, or indeed best practice, in the delivery of services in this country.

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