Quarterly scientific journal

Exploring the experiences patients who undergo 24hour Video- electroencephalography

Antigoni Fountouki , Dimitrios Theofanidis , Paraskeuas Perifanos , Eleni Marineli

Abstract

Epilepsy is a frequent neurological disorder well-known by ancient times. The most accurate and valid diagnostic tool for epilepsy, is electroencephalography which provides details on the brain's function by recording brain cells' waves. Aim of the study was the exploration of the patients' total experience at a psychological and emotional level during a 24hour EEG. Materials and Methods: The sample included 40 subjects aged 18-40 years with a history or suspicion of epileptic symptoms. Due to the study's explorative/explicative nature, a qualitative research design was used. Data collection was performed through semi-structured interviews, direct observations and field notes. Following patients' permission, the interviews were recorded and the verbatim data was analyzed via thematic content analysis. Results: The verbatim text was the raw material where key words or phrases with autonomous meaning, relevant to the study's aims where subsequently organized in 4 major themes and 20 sub-categories, namely: Emotional-Psychological state (Positive: Joy, Optimism, Positive Thinking, Self-Confidence. Negative: Sadness, Anxiety, Fear, Panic, Pessimism). Behavior of patients (Calmness, Comfort, Nervousness, Aggravation). Options for patient involvement (TV, Reading, Music, Sleep, Lack of internet). Interpersonal relationships (family, friendly). Conclusions: During achieving the study's aims, many methodological and practical obstacles have been encountered as it proved to be particularly challenging to encompass patients' emotions and accurately cite their experiences during the EEG. However, results that have been revealed are adequate in formulating a holistic picture about the psychological state and the emotions that patients experience during the procedure.

Keywords: Epilepsy, patients experiences, electroencephalography, psychological changes, thematic content analysis

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