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Online Intervention for Depression in People With Epilepsy

Depression is common among people with epilepsy (PWE) and it can lower the quality of life and increase risk of suicide in these people. PWE with psychiatric comorbidities experience treatment barriers for their conditions because of reasons such as fears of reducing seizure threshold from drug interactions and reluctance to seek treatment because of associated stigma.

Therefore alternative methods of delivering treatment such as Psychological online interventions are required. In a study conducted in Alsterdorf, Germany, 38PWE received an internet based programme for reducing depressive symptoms; this programme was delayed for another 40 PWE who served as the comparison group

The depressive symptoms improved significantly more in the intervention group than in the comparison group (p=0.01). Additionally, the improvement in the energy/fatigue quality of life subscale was significantly greater in the intervention group than in the comparison group (p=0.042). This study demonstrates that internet based psychological programmes may be useful and effective in addressing psychiatric comorbidities in PWE. It remains to be seen if these psychological online interventions could be piloted in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) where treatment barriers for epilepsy and its psychiatric comorbidities are prevalent. For such programmes to be a success in LMIC, internet availability and access should be improved and PWE should be trained on how to use internet services.

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