The experience of seizures after epilepsy surgery

Christopher A. Shirbin, Anne M. McIntosh, Sarah J. Wilson

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Postoperative seizures occur in 20-60% of patients who have epilepsy surgery. Despite this, there is limited understanding of a patient's experience of the recurrence of seizures after surgery. This study used a qualitative approach to identify key themes derived from content analysis of 15 in-depth patient interviews about the experience of seizure recurrence. The results showed a prominence of psychological issues over medical concerns. The four most frequently expressed themes were perceived success of surgery, medication, acceptance of seizure recurrence, and personal independence. Despite seizure recurrence, patient sentiments were not universally negative; rather there was heterogeneity of views, with some reporting ambivalence and others a sense of satisfaction with outcome. The findings provide evidence for the importance of cognitive reframing and benefit finding in the context of seizure recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-85
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Partial epilepsy
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Psychosocial outcome
  • Seizure recurrence
  • Surgical outcome

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