Psychobehavioral therapy for epilepsy

Venus Tang, Rosa Michaelis, Patrick Kwan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Growing evidence suggests a bidirectional interaction between epileptic seizures and psychological states, fuelling the interest in the development and application of psychobehavioral therapy for people with epilepsy (PWE). The objective of this article is to review the various psychobehavioral therapies in regard to their application, hypothesized mechanisms, and effectiveness. Most psychobehavioral therapy aims at improving psychological well-being and seizure control. Behavioral approaches, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and mind-body interventions are the most widely applied approaches for PWE. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, mind-body approaches, and multimodel educative interventions have consistently demonstrated positive effects on enhancing well-being. Nevertheless, the effects on seizure control remain inconsistent, partly attributable to small clinical trials and inadequate control groups. Assessor-blinded randomized controlled trials with sufficient power and carefully defined therapeutic components corresponding with objective and subjective outcome measures are recommended for future trial designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Epilepsy
  • Mechanism
  • Mind-body
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychotherapy
  • Stress

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